Walking on Snow

The trick to walking on snow is the right footwear. When it’s deep, snowshoes are the answer — at least if you want to get into the woods. And why wouldn’t you? Snow-shoeing is great for the body and the mind.

My urban friends ask me why I come up here to the frozen north in winter. This is why. In the 30ish years I’ve lived near Washington D.C., I’ve always owned snowshoes. (And cross-country skis.) Each winter, I’ve waited for the snow. If we got two inches, out came the skis. If we got six, out came the snowshoes. I wasn’t the only one; I almost always saw other tracks, left by someone who beat me outside. Another northern transplant, no doubt. While most urban dwellers hunkered down indoors, we bolted outdoors to revel in it. In the mid-Atlantic, it can be a long wait for a good snow…and if you wait, it’s gone.

Up here on the 47th parallel, we also had to wait this year for the good snow. It was an oddly warm winter until late February. But what perfect snow now, in March! See photos and captions below.

I like to snowshoe alone, the better to enjoy the silence, but sometimes it’s good to have company like these amazing women. We were a group of 18 on this day, part of a hiking group that goes out every Sunday, year-round. In the winter, we snowshoe or ski instead of hike.
Jeff and I were out of practice so let others forge the trail. Four miles on snowshoes is strenuous if the trail isn’t packed. Here we are following a guy in his 70s on traditional wooden snowshoes. It’s a hardy group.
We often hike (or ski or snowshoe) on the North Country Trail, which stretches 4,800 miles from North Dakota to Vermont and passes through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
I always carry a small back-pack with drinks and a snack, especially when going alone. Mishaps can happen, and good sense is important when exploring the woods.
Snow-shadows are one of the rewards for “getting out there.” May I be able to continue this into my 80s!

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