Friday, January 2, 2009

Snowshoeing Exploits

Today I’m going to touch on a different way of traveling around---snowshoeing. Santa brought Kennon and I snowshoes for Christmas this year. Don't laugh, they're actually a lot of fun. These modern snowshoes are rugged, designed for individual weights, and have awesome traction.


We’ve tried cross country skiing, something I loved in my youth, but I seem to lack the coordination to participate in such adventures these days. So now we’re trying snowshoeing. To be honest, someone else suggested this option as a way to stay healthy and happy during the loooonnnggg winter months here in the heart of Bear Lake. After this idea was shared, I began doing extensive research into the world of snowshoeing. I learned that snowshoes have come a long way since the days of Grizzly Adams and company. =) They come in all shapes and sizes and prices. Incidentally, I found the best deals online compliments of Amazon.com, but I digress.

My husband and one of our sons took these snowshoes out for a test drive the day after Christmas and they had a blast. They had so much fun, our son talked his wife into trying them before they left our realm. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they decided to purchase snowshoes for themselves in the near future. ;)

It wasn’t until everyone had headed home from our abode that I had a chance to try them out. That afternoon, Kennon and I drove up Montpelier Canyon and turned off into Montpelier Home Canyon, parking in a huge area that has been cleared for vehicles. We found that there were a lot of people trying out their Christmas gifts in this location. A father and son combo were sighting in a new rifle. Another father and son team had brought their new snowmobiles. Then there was Kennon and I, strapping on our new snowshoes. Guess who received the most stares. ;)


It didn’t take long to strap on the snowshoes, and we were off, following the snowmobile trail. My husband figured in was in our (my) best interest to keep things simple. We only hiked in about 1\2 mile but it was a good workout since it was uphill. Along the way I took several photos since I had brought along my trusty camera for this adventure.

I loved it. It was fun, and a great way to work in some exercise, not to mention a chance to appreciate nature. You can walk about anywhere with these things, but following a trail does make it much easier. When you step out into fresh snow, you do tend to sink down a bit, but this increases the workout opportunities. (IE: you work twice as hard to go the same distance.)

Since our goal this year is to go snowshoeing about 3 times a week, we ventured off again yesterday, this time heading to nearby Georgetown, Idaho. We settled on exploring the Right-hand Canyon up Georgetown Canyon and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.


It was snowing slightly, but we stayed nice and warm. We learned early on that it behooves one to dress a little less like an Eskimo while snowshoeing because one tends to glisten while exerting in this way. So on the second day of my snowshoeing adventure, I wore a lighter coat.


We saw all kinds of neat things as we followed yet another snow-machine trail. We saw several shelters Mother Nature had provided for the small woodland creatures like bunnies, skunks, etc.




I also spied a small waterfall. And since many of you know of my great love of waterfalls, you'll appreciate how excited I was, even if it was tiny.



Here's a photo of deer tracks that look suspiciously like the patterns left by teens when they ride snow-machines up around a hillside. I suspect the deer were mocking them, but that's just me.



And here's a great shot of the deer who may have been responsible for the tracks we saw that day:


We also found a small avalanche, a warning about being cautious while hiking around canyon locations.



Here's a nice picture of Kennon posing with our dog, Brandy.



I learned yesterday that I will never walk behind this doggie ever again while wearing snowshoes. She stopped suddenly and stepped back onto the front of my snowshoes, helping me to lose my balance in a huge fashion. Luckily Kennon was there to help me back up to my feet. I'm not sure how I would have managed it on my own. My feet, legs, and snowshoes were a jumbled mess. I'm also now sporting one of the largest bruises I've ever sustained on one leg, but that was the only injury. Thank you Brandy. ;)

All in all, we had a wonderful time and we're already planning our next snowshoeing adventure. I heartily endorse this form of traveling. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it's a great way to see nature at its finest during the winter season.


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6 comments:

Cindy Beck said...

Cheri,
I, like you, used to cross country ski in my younger years. However, Russ keeps insisting I'll fall and break my head now that I'm not quite so young anymore.

I've always wanted to try snowshoes, and it sounds like they're a blast. Thanks so much for posting this, because now I think I'll give them a try. That is, if I can convince Russ it will be fun. (He's more a TV man than a mountain man :)

Jennie said...

Cheri, what a neat adventure. Your pictures are great and I'm glad you only have a bruise to show for this expedition.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Cindy, I think you would love snowshoeing. You can set your own pace, and if you don't trip over the dog, you'll be just fine. ;)

I'm glad you liked the pictures, Jennie. =) And I agree, I'm glad\grateful I only ended up with a bruise. ;)

Phelps Fam said...

How fun! That looks like you guys had a great time. Thanks for checking up on us the other night and for bringing in the yummy food! We love you guys! Take Care!

Dannyel Crane said...

I loved you winter pics. It makes me wish we were down there go to go with you. I definately could use the exercise. Jeff really enjoyed using the snowshoes so maybe he will be joining the ranks also.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Kwinnae. We did have a good time. Aside from the little bruising adventure. ;)And you're welcome. Hang in there.

Dannyel, you and Jeff will have to come snowshoeing with us. It's fun. We'll just leave the dog home. ;)