Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowshoe Memories - 30 Days Done!

I finished off my last two days of 30 Days of Snowshoeing in a perfect setting!! My friends, Paul, Jodie and Morgan, invited me and my family up to their cabin on Lake Ossawinnamakee, near Brainerd, Minnesota, where we enjoyed a mini-break from work and school.

Though some lakes are busy with snowmobile traffic in the winter, this corner of Lake Ossie was almost snowmobile free. It was quiet up there and most of the time we felt like we had the whole lake to ourselves. We had a great time. We talked. We attempted ice fishing. We read books. We ate and talked some more. We relaxed. We had fun.

And I snowshoed.
Four times in two days!

On Saturday, Day 29 of my 30 Days of Snowshoeing, I snowshoed out to an island where I found signs of deer and places where they had bedded down. I found a rope swing and managed to swing on it a few times though I had to hold my snowshoed feet way up in the air so they wouldn't hit the ice. I'm sure I looked ridiculous but I didn't care.
Owen joined me on a second trip to the island. We followed deer paths through the snow and talked. We never once talked about work or household tasks left undone. We simply enjoyed our time together in the great outdoors.

On Sunday morning I woke before Owen and headed out on my snowshoes to "help" Paul bring in the portable ice house. Paul gave me tips on where to snowshoe in the surrounding woods so I trekked out and found deer tracks and prints of the feet of little woodland creatures. I took pictures of the trees, of the tracks, but I know they will never capture the real beauty of the woods. Nor will the pictures capture the way I felt - alone but still a part of my surroundings - or the sound that my snowshoes made while I walked through the silence and perfect snow.
Shortly before it was time to head home Rose said she wanted to snowshoe to the island with me. So we did. I showed her where the deer had been. The rope swing. We stopped to make snow angels on the lake. I helped Rose up and we walked hand in hand a bit then stopped to look at our ice fishing holes and observed our only catch of the weekend - a small clump of seaweed. We laughed as we remembered sitting out in the little ice house the night before. Of how we both were tired and decided to do synchronized ice fishing to stay awake and warm. Of how we giggled so much at our silly antics that we were sure we scared all the fish away.
All too soon it was time to head back. We needed to finish packing. To load the van. To drive the long way home and get on with our normal lives.

Can a life be normal again, though, after snowshoeing 30 days in a row? I suppose normal isn't the right word. Ordinary, perhaps? Average? It's not like snowshoeing 30 days in a row changed my life in some big way but doing it made me feel like I accomplished something big. Sticking to my goal, some of my friends tell me, helped them get out and exercise more. That makes me feel good. And maybe when a person sets a goal and keeps it life is never the same. I'm not really sure.
I do know, though, that every time I strapped on my snowshoes and got outside I felt wonderful. That I have a good memory from each of my 30 days of snowshoeing. And that my favorite memory was the few sweet moments on that 30th day when Rose and I snowshoed hand in hand.


cassi said...

Well done, M! Great job on 30 Days of Snowshoeing - that is definitely one I would love to try (as soon as I can relocate to the lands of snow, obviously ;). I really love the photos - tracks thru the woods, and especially the snow angel. Thumbs up! Cycling weather will hopefully be here before you know it.

annalisa said...

Congratulations! And great photos, too. Hopefully cycling weather will come soon to us both!

Pamela Hutchins said...

Wow, you did it! Great job. And awesome memories and pictures. You almost make me think being cold wouldn't suck. Almost.

Nina Patten said...

You have motivated me to 30 days (more or less) of daily barefoot beach walking, even if the temperature drops below 60. So far I've made it 6 days in a row. Now THAT'S discipline :)

laurie said...

this is GREAT.