Like most camping trips, winter camping can have peripheral activities. There’s ice fishing, and cross country skiing and snow shoeing. We opted for the latter.
I’d been snowshoeing a few times before. It requires the use of different muscle groups, that can be awkward for the less experienced. Poles are definitely required, for me.
We decided on a 2km trail. It seemed reasonable. But I didn’t quite have the required gait, so the effort was hard on me. Thankfully my cohorts were understanding and encouraging.
Snowshoe hiking is kind of like running, in that first you get your rhythm, and then you get hot. I got very hot. I purposely left my puffy jacket unzipped. My head sweated under my hat and at one point I ditched the mits as well. Half way into the hike I was well into what felt like heat exhaustion. But I carried on.
Despite my discomfort and what felt like significant effort, I started thinking about what I would cook for dinner. I still had a steak, and potatoes, and a can of tomatoes. I was thinking about making a stew.
Lost in my own mind I only vaguely took in the nature around me. It just wasn’t that kind of a hike for me. It was a hurdle I needed to get over to be able to do more hikes later.
It didn’t help that I didn’t know the trail, so I was unsure how much longer the hike would be. But eventually, we came out of the woods to the road that would lead us back to our trucks.
It was a struggle, but I recovered rather quickly, and enjoyed my heated seat and floor heat on the way back to camp. I was still thinking about that stew.
When we got back, the first order of business was to change into dry clothes. I was drenched in sweat and every piece of clothing I had on was damp. So, I changed everything I had on, all the way down to my socks and underwear. I dug into a box of extra clothes and found a dry hat, scarf and heavy fleece anorak.
Still thinking about my stew I went to see if I could help with the fire, but it was cold, and Dante was being elusive. As my campmates coaxed the fire, I nudged the can of clam chowder I took out earlier closer to the fire. Maybe it could be a first course. It was all fantasy. I later conceded for it to be my main course that night.