In times past, we’d flee to Vermont with a truckload of skis and boots, but I left my youth and my knees at Okemo.
So when we flee to Vermont now, the only winter sport left to me is snowshoeing.
Those are my feet in rented snowshoes, and let me tell you, I can’t think of a much better way of getting into that part of the forest where no one can bother you. I walked so far up that you couldn’t even hear traffic any more, the people, or even the birds.
Like much of the Northeast, Vermont hasn’t seen much snow, and it’s gotten bitter cold. Without crampons, you’re left to crawl up chutes of ice. These shoes worked well save for one time when I walked out of them and slid on my butt down a little chute — which was actually kind of fun.
I didn’t factor in how much effort it is to tramp across ice (I found myself reciting a mantra, “Brittle bones! Brittle bones”) but I was intent on reaching the farthest-most point of the trail — a small outhouse of a lodge I had all to myself.
Plus I had the picnic table in this photo. I thought how nice it would be to chip off some snow and have those snacks I forgot to pack. A granola bar would have been nice, washed down with some hot chocolate with little marshmallows floating on top. Or maybe some nice cheese and crackers. This is, after all, Vermont. They have great cheese up there.
Maybe it’s the hillbilly in me, but I have always found that the woods heal. I can’t say that I came down from my walk any smarter or more whole, but I came down happy. I hope for you a similar kind of walk in the near future.
I am jealous. Looks beautiful.
The best I can do right now is down to the mailbox and back…and that’s just because it thawed enough yesterday to clear the road a bit.
However, I am venturing down the south valley next week to visit a friend who is off the road a piece. And we plan to walk to a viewing area on his property where he routinely gets to watch eagles hunt the river. Provided it’s not too frigid. I don’t do frigid very well anymore.
” I have always found that the woods heal.”
I am grateful for having grown up in a suburb that was, in those days, heavily wooded, and in a time when parents thought nothing of letting their kids roam.
What a gift.
This? Used to be my backyard. (The path wasn’t so well groomed in those days.)
That’s why I always come back. If I was smart, I would have stayed in Seattle…or San Francisco…or Portland/Eugene. New Orleans. Even NYC.
But I wasn’t. Them woods can make you stupid. Happy. But stupid.
I discovered snowshoeing a few years ago when I lived with my brother and he dragged me out to Gay City State Park one day. Now I live in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner and have access to TONS of woods. Brother Mike gave me one of his pairs and I can throw them on and go right out my back door (literally). When there’s snow. It’s amazing… easy and therapeautic (physically and mentally). I always come home with a clear head. Get a pair and come visit… when we get snow.
I love Gay City. I am going to get me some and come out and invade your woods.
Snowshoeing is one of reasons I find mild winters like this one a drag. We’ve been transitioning from cross-country skiing to snowshoeing over the past 15 years from about 80/20 to 20/80. Not so much due to physical issues but for the ability to get away by ourselves. Last winter was great. We’ve gone up north some (Green Mountains) but the real treat has been rediscovering local spots along the blue blaze trail system that we’d been to in warmer weather. There’s nothing quite like being deep in the woods in deep snow next to a frozen river or stream. Just don’t forget the toe warmers and in our case a thermos of ginger tea, lots of honey.
I’ve got to get me some. It was just so peaceful — but then, the snow was pretty packed down. I kept wondering how much I’d fall if it was powder (as if the East Coast ever actually GETS powder).
The deeper and fluffier the snow, the gentler it is on (ahem) mature joints.
See, I wondered if my way — hard, packed and icy snow — was easier. It really was like taking a stroll up a steep hall.
This makes me wish for snow. It sounds wonderful.
I am right now trying to talk myself OUT of buying some for myself. Just because I loved it this once is no reason to acquire new sporting gear, is it? Is it?
If you buy some gear, you might do it more often.
True. Or I might just add the gear to the Pile Of Stuff I Thought I’d Use But Didn’t.
The thing is with snowshoes you can go out your front door. No need to get in the car. We live in town, not the country. As much as we love the woods there’s been plenty of times we’ve been out on the streets and sidewalks before they have been plowed or shoveled. It can be particularly magical at night. You know, snow in the street lights and all that.
OK. I’m pay my bills and then buying snowshoes. I’m convinced.
Are they expensive? Since it’s been warm and we have no snow, I’d be tempted to wait unless you find a good sale. Think snow. (did I really say that?)
I know. Can you believe we’re wishing for snow? What is wrong with us? (I think they run around $100.)
Leave a comment