Snow-country Residents: Ski-up!
NOTICE: Not to repeat myself, but having or renting XC skis is part of the base price-tag of living in snow-country. As a resident you're obliged to have, yes, a bike or three. A canoe. Boots, running shoes. And XC skis. That's your baseline.
Do not complain about this and call it a burden! These are your tickets to paradise. You are BLESSED to have such chances as the seasons roll by.
OK, you don't have to own skis, but you need to know where you can rent 'em, pronto, when the snow flies.
And your baseline ski rig is: *touring boots with pivot-cuff, *midlength wide-ish skis, *carbon poles with big solid-face 80's-style baskets, *highpower LED headlamp (for the early winter nights -- make your own lighted trails), *hydropack for picnic fun.
Then feel free to add a sea kayak to the mix, say. Rollerblades. You know the drill. These things tend to last a good while, don't they.
A small sailboat never hurts. Pump shotgun with slug barrel, fishing pole, a bow, a pellet gun.
Do you like the outdoors, or what? Do you like gung-ho all-body action? Are there 4 seasons out there? You only go 'round once.
Anyway, XC isn't just about groomed ski areas that are an hour away. It's not just about skinny toothpicks in tracks. That's all fun. But a more versatile rig is your mt-bike of snow. And it's ready for free action ANYWHERE THERE'S SNOW. For any trails, for jumps, for tele-turns in the meadows.
C'mon, join the fun!