Saturday, January 15, 2011


when i was a little kid, probably around 8 years old, i remember looking at a map we had of Garmisch-Partenkirchen as i sat in front of the fire at the table in our den.  there was a trail marked on that map:  Die Loipe.  this trail intrigued me.  i asked my dad, "what is 'die Loipe'?"  and he replied, "it's a cross-country skate track.  they groom the walking trail on the edge of town in the winter.  it's several miles long."

Heaven, i thought to myself.

they have them all over the place in southern Germany.  because paved bike trails typically connect towns in the non-winter months, it only seems practical to groom these same trails in the winter time for non-motorized use.

they don't have snowmobiles and ATVs in Europe like we do in the US.  things tend to be more human-powered over there.  when i was a kid, i used to cross-country ski to school with my brother on the track that our mom laid down for us.  across the corn fields and through the woods.  it only seemed natural to our practical family.  why ride the bus or take a car, when your own two feet can carry you there?  it was really fun on the way home from school, because we always had more time to mess around; building jumps and practicing our telemark turns on the steeper hills.

these days, i have my own version of die Loipe.  it is an old railroad bed up by Park City.  i take the dogs and we skate.  the word 'loipe' sounds just so happy to me.  it is one of my feel-good words.  and i feel good when i am out there, on the skate track.  i think of a loping coyote.  i watch my dogs scamper along.  Artie's ears flopping make me think of a flopsy bunny rabbit.

Die Loipe.  it is Heaven.

1 comment:

  1. It does sound like heaven. And once again, Europeans score!