I’ve gone snowshoeing once or twice before, about a decade ago. I remembered it being hard. Even so, when a friend recently mentioned he was selling his snowshoes, I jumped at the chance to try them out. Lately, my home has been that good ole winter wonderland, and it is driving me nuts that I can’t run. Here’s what I discovered from my new obsession.
1. Snowshoeing not only really rocks as a running substitute for winter exercise, it really rocks as exercise, period. The snowshoes I’m using are great, although the paint does chip off of them when I (gasp) bash them against freaking boulders hidden under the snow.
2. My lower back really, really aches after even just two hours of dedicated snowshoeing. I was told that this normal because we tend to lean forward while flinging our suddenly extra-large feet forward and break trail. Sigh…anti-inflammatories and yoga are my great friends at the moment.
3. If snowshoeing with a dog, said critter will likely step upon the back of my snowshoes on occasion, causing me to wonder why I’m such a wimp all of a sudden and can hardly lift my feet. Smart dogs, you see, will quickly learn to follow in the tracks of the snowshoes rather than continue to fall deep in when their feet sink right through.
4. When a friend tells you there have been mountain lion tracks recently found where you will be snowshoeing (read: slow, awkward going, very vulnerable to being eaten by a creature much faster than you), every time your dog pauses to sniff the wind with great attention, you get a little freaked out.
5. It is utterly, totally, amazingly freaking gorgeous in the “backcountry” (yeah, it’s not really all that far back there, but it sure seems so when I’m slogging through drifts).
6. Wearing layers in wintertime is essential…as are places in which to stash said layers when one begins to peel out of them, sweating and gasping for air.
aaand…drumroll please…the best thing I realized (for the millionth time) while snowshoeing yesterday:
7. The road less taken…runs right by my home. I really, truly live in paradise. All this, and I was only about three miles from town. Not too shabby, eh?