Once in a while I would meet some other skiers while on the trails, and we would chat for a couple minutes. During one of those conversations I learned that others shared my goal of skiing up to the junction and back - a return trip of about 22km from the industrial park. I estimated that this could take up to 8 hours, depending on how many and how long the breaks.
Not one to just talk about things, I decided that March 20th, the first day of spring, would be a great time to do it. I let a few people know about my plans, and posted it on the ski club's website in case anyone wanted to join me, but there were no confirmations. I was on my own again. Oh well...
Originally, I planned to leave at 0900 sharp with the group, and have a lunch in the chalet at Notre Dame Park, but since it was just me there was no rush and I could travel at my own time. It was closer to 0930 by the time I finished a good breakfast and had the car loaded up - dog and all. Then it took a while to find a parking spot. With all the snow there are few places left. By 0950, however, I was on the trail.
Conditions were really good, although it was overcast all day with a light SE wind blowing. This helped to bring the snowmobiles out in force. I wouldn't doubt that 100 passed me on their way to cabins and Mt. Peyton. So much for fresh air. Regardless, I made good time and arrived at the junction shortly before noon. I skied around the loop to head back home and looked for a good place to stop for lunch.
I pulled off to the side of the trail at a cabin intersection (Farrs?), took off my pack, pulled out a cold peanut butter sandwhich and colder bottle of milk, and ate while watching the snowmobiles whiz past. 10 or 15 minutes is long enough to be still in these temperatures, so it was soon time to hit the trail again to warm up.
To train for this event I'd increased my ski excursions from 2 to 3 hours and then up to 4 hours, but that was really pushing it. I was unsure if I could go 5 or 6 hours, if that was what this trip actually took. It would have if I left from the pond like I normally do and gone all the way to the chalet, but going from the industrial park saved me about an hour. This meant I was back at the car again in around 4.5 hours. I'd achieved another goal. Been there, done that. Those other people can just keep talking.