By Kevin Coughlin
Jerry Muncaciu celebrated Monday’s arrival of spring just as he might have done as a boy near the Carpathian Mountains in Romania.
He strapped on his cross-country skis.
Except this was Morris Township. And the weather was more suited to whacking golf balls–Muncaciu’s other favorite lunchtime pursuit in the Loantaka Brook Reservation.
“Look, there can’t be 100 percent snow on it,” he said, rating the ski conditions as excellent for this time of year.
Enough snow remains from last week’s Winter Storm Stella for intrepid skiers to enjoy a last hurrah. Shaded paths are best. Bring your old “beater” skis, wax them up good, lather up with sunscreen, and savor the rare experience of gliding along under sunny 50-degree skies.
Loantaka is surprising that way–it’s ski-worthy when you least expect it.
“I like the park a lot,” said Muncaciu, 71, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1979 and became a citizen. He works as an electrical engineer for a Morristown company.
His only suggestion for the Morris County Park Commission?
“In winter, I would like to see maybe a snowmobile go through, to create a path,” he said.
Looks like that’s going to have to wait for awhile. In a couple of days, the paths will belong to bicycles, strollers and joggers.