Yes!!! I snowshoed!!!
I think you can tell by the combination of my exclamation points and looking closely at this picture that the only problem with my expedition was my totally inadequate low-cut cotton socks!
Josh and I both got snowshoes in the past couple of years as gifts from my parents, and the snow cover in those years has not been conducive to snowshoeing. Josh has never actually been out on his. I went once with my mom on wonderful snow, and I think it spoiled me. I didn't want to go earlier this winter because the snow was packed and icy, and I couldn't tell why it would be much different than going for a walk on packed snow. I want fluff!
Several little clippers have swept through in the past week, dropping a little batch of beautiful, fluffy snow each time. I decided that I had to seize the day and enjoy the fluffy snow. (I feel like I have already typed "snow" at least 600 times.) My real goal is to get out on trails with Josh this weekend (and/or the rest of winter), but I wanted to do a trial run first, so I zipped over to the local golf course for a mini-adventure.
Guess what is the most fun part about snowshoeing? From what I've read, at a lot of places, you don't have to stay on any sort of trail. You can go wherever strikes your fancy! After skiing for years solely on groomed trails, this was totally foreign to me. At the golf course I visited, it was game on: there was a groomed trail for skiers, but there were also tons of tracks from skiers who had forged their own paths. I even saw one other set of snowshoe tracks (and, to be honest, got confused that they were mine and that I had somehow gotten totally turned around).
I hopped onto the golf course next to a makeshift skate-skiing trail. (That kind of trail-blazing skiing is hard work.)
And then I got tromp around wherever I felt like tromping! It was daytime, so I followed this animal's tracks and tromped through a little grove of pine trees.
I tromped under a willow tree for fun. I tried to tromp up a little hill and saw that snowshoeing could indeed be hard work. For the most part, though, I kept my effort easy. It felt like going for a walk to bask in the winter sunshine! I looked up at one point and saw blue skies.
I only stayed out for a short time, just to get the lay of the land, but my snowshoe stint also felt more playful than walking and certainly more than running. I've even spent many hours skiing in similar places, but the element of play in snowshoeing is uncomparable and undeniable.
I had a great time puttering around even in this relatively urban setting. I could usually but not always see cars wherever I was, so even the "not always" part was a little treat. I can only imagine how much fun it would be in a more remote and peaceful park. I am consciously making an effort to add some zip and zest to February, and this was just the ticket.