Last year for Christmas we got snow shoes for the family. Not this Christmas but the year before. So far we haven’t used them.
We have that list of reasons why. Not a lot of snow. Too Busy. Need to clean the house. The laundry needed to get done. We were just plain tired. So many reasons but this past Sunday we finally made it happen.
It was Kirby that said he wanted to get out and use the snow shoes. It is good to have an activity buddy because when I am lacking motivation or ideas he will usually urge me on and vice versa. We often do more as a collective than we would apart.
Rockwood Park Golf Course
We were looking at the hiking books and websites trying to figure out where to go. The tricky part is that most of those trails would have been pretty packed down and we really wanted to try the shoes on powder.
We chose to go to the Rockwood Park Golf Course. It is right next to Rockwood Park that I have written about before. The fairways of a golf course make a great place for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. We made a great call because most of the course was untouched. The only evidence we saw of other life was one cross country ski trail, one snow shoe trail and a lot of deer tracks.
We were lucky because it was not really windy. It could have been bitterly cold if it were windy. The sun was shining bright and warm which made it even better. I think I have mentioned I don’t like the cold. It was a perfect winter day to get outside!
The differences between snowshoeing and hiking
I’m putting this post in the hiking section. This time of year and with the amount of snow we have on the ground hiking would be difficult until the trails were either groomed or well used. Snowshoeing for me sounded like a great way to be able to get out and do what I love on a day like today when we have 50-80 cm of fresh new snow.
I have never been on snowshoes before Sunday. I thought it would be just like hiking or walking. Boy was I wrong! Snowshoeing is definitely hard work. I had it in my mind that you would glide right along the top of the snow. It was a shock to sink down into the snow and have to lift your feet out of the snow, even if it only a little bit it is a lot more work than just walking.
I had it in my mind that we would go for 2 hours and cover about 10km. In the end we were out for about 1 hr and 20 minutes and although I would have kept going when we turned the corner and the clubhouse came into view I was relieved, my legs were tired and I was very happy to stop.
The real shocker was to see that we had only covered 4.25km. As it turns out the course length is only about 5.25km (5952 yards) so we did almost the whole course but unlike hiking where 10km is a short hike (in my books) this was hard work for the distance.
I definitely don’t get out in the winter like I do in the summer. I am a fair-weather camper and I don’t really like the cold. This is probably part of the reason that I become a bit of a hibernating bear in February. I can also be a bit crabby (right Anne!).
I love to be outdoors. I love the smells, the feel of the sun on my face and I live for the feeling of the fresh air.
One of the things I enjoy most is seeing the natural sights. Seeing animal tracks, even if you don’t see the animal you know that they are around. It makes you feel natural and free from the trappings of the “real world”. Last summer we were in Mount Carleton Provincial Park and were very aware of Moose – you know there was lots of “evidence” – there was something exhilarating about knowing there were real live moose all around us even though we couldn’t see them.
Out on the golf course we saw a whole lot of deer tracks and we also saw a bunch of areas where the deer were rooting for grass. It felt very much the same way, knowing all these deer were just around somewhere living their life.
Getting out there again
Kirby at one point stopped and looked at me and said “isn’t this just majestic”. It really was. It was challenging which I love but even better it was a great boost to my spirit in the dead of winter.
On Monday in southern New Brunswick we got a huge dump of snow. There was somewhere between 50 and 80cm of snow within 24 hours. Today we got another big amount of snow, don’t have the amount yet but 30cm would be a safe minimum bet.
Ingrid and I went out the other night in between the two storms to try out the fresh powder. Let me tell you it was HARD.
Now we have lots of this new snow I’m guessing it will be even harder but I’d still love to make the priorities line up so we can get out again!