>> Sunday, January 17, 2010
This past weekend was nearly as crammed full of obligations as the prior weekend (and next weekend isn't looking any better). However, I made it a priority to get outside for a brief snowshoeing trip on Saturday by telling myself it was officially on my "must do" list so I'd have something to blog about.
That, my friends, is one of the reasons I like keeping this blog. It helps me prioritize getting outside even when it seems impossible. My best friend teases me that I can justify just about anything if I work at it. She's so right!
One of my very favorite places to play in the woods is a place called Baltimore Woods. Dogs aren't allowed there, so I don't get there very often anymore despite that it's quite close to home. I miss it. I have been going to Baltimore Woods in all seasons since I was a kid and love it. It's never too crowded, is a nice mix of wood and field and stream and pond, makes for good birding and wildlife spotting, and is by far the best place I know of to look for spring wildflowers. They have wonderful nature education programming, too.
The terrain at Baltimore Woods is pretty rugged as it's centered around a deep gorge on lots of cool glacial geology. Skiing isn't allowed there - for a darn good reason. I have been cross-country skiing since I was 2, and while I'm no ski racer or remarkable talent on them, I am extremely comfortable on skis. But you couldn't pay me any amount of money to try to cross country ski down this:
Anyway, I have been hoping since I bought my snowshoes that Baltimore Woods would be steep enough for me to use the MSR's "Televator Heel Lifter" feature. It turns out that it's mighty hard to take pictures of one's own heels - here's the best I could manage:
Technically it wasn't snowy enough to need snowshoes on Saturday - curse this above-32 spell. I could have walked quite comfortably without them most of the way. But they're new, provide good traction, and my boots don't have a cool Televator feature that I was dying to try out. So I snowshoed. The disadvantage was that they're noisy as heck on the kind of heavy damp icy snow we presently have. The SCRRRUNCH SCRRRUNCH SCRRRUNCH SCRRRUNCH of my footfalls certainly scared off any wildlife I might otherwise have crept up on.