Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Views from snowshoes...

 Going uphill.
(A couple days ago I took this walk.  Mostly uphill from our main road.)

There were lots of tracks.  I think maybe coyote.
The men were chasing after one the day before.  They caught sight of him, but couldn't get him.
We're thinking about protecting our sheep and soon, baby lambs.

 At the top.
On the prairie we have bare spots on ridges and 
deep snow is drifted in the low areas and creeks.

 Looking out over the breaks.

We are headed back down over my tracks.  
Sue was glad she had my tracks to walk back in. 
 She did a lot of sinking.  So did I.

Today's walk is in the photos below.
I took off from our house and walked down a dry creek all the way up
to our Springs where a small dam is.
There was lots of snow in the creek bed and it had a hard crust
which made snowshoeing easier.
Still, I anticipate every step.
Any one of them could be a "sinker."
Just when you think you have easy walking, 
the snow caves underfoot and it takes some work to get
your footing again.

 Looks a bit like the moon doesn't it?

 The wind really blew after our last snow 
and since it was so cold then, 
the snow just blew into drifts that look like sand dunes or waves to me.  
Pretty in its own way.

 Charlie found a hole.

 He got his body halfway in there!

 I think it might be a badger den.  Or a fox den.
I heard a weird kind of "wa-oomph" sound in there.
We just moved on.
No sense disturbing a badger!

 More deep drifts on the way home.
Today was a gorgeous day to be out snowshoeing.
I suppose we got up into the upper 30s with bright sunshine and no wind.
On the way home, I took off my hat, gloves, and unzipped my jacket.
The one thing that I noticed more than anything else was
the quiet.
There is just something special about
experiencing that kind of quiet -- silence and solitude.
I noisily crunch along like Big Foot,
but when I stop and listen, it's SO quiet.

Snowshoeing is so challenging and fun to me.  It's like walking, but with big things strapped on my feet.  It requires much balance, being centered, and requires constant adjusting.  The terrain where I walk is not level.  I break my own trails.  Snowshoeing requires you to do a kind of sidestep. Sometimes the left leg is uphill and next the right leg is.  There is always the chance of a punch through and it can be a struggle to get out.  Then there are times when you can walk leisurely like a queen on top of the hard crusty snow.  But... I'm always leery of the cave-in.  I know it can happen anytime and if you're really striding out, you could really tumble yourself or hurt a leg if you sink down pretty deep.  

I love the challenge of snowshoeing, and I am feeling stronger every day that I walk.  My breathing is easier and no so laborious as it was the first day.  My legs and hips are stronger, and I am taking longer and longer walks without tiring.  These past few warm days have been so much fun for me.  The dogs are happy to go with me to and sniff around for things.  I feel sorry for them when they are stepping through the snow without snowshoes.

There is an Arctic cold blast coming in by the weekend, so I'm hoping to trek around as much as possible before then.  I do hope that there might be some new snow on the way.  It changes the landscape and makes for new adventures, even on the same paths.  Have you ever tried snowshoeing?  If so, where do you like to walk?


  1. What a wonderful walk! I would enjoy the challenge of walking in such a beautiful landscape created by the snow,the silence, the solitude except for the company of the dogs and spotting signs of animals along the way. Best wishes to you and the family for the new year. I pray it will be a good one as you manage your livestock and enjoy home life.

  2. Look at you go! It sounds so fun! I'm glad you are careful.

  3. Oh that must be a very good work out for sure! So much whiteness all around. Yes...don't mess with badgers! I've read so many fun children's stories with badgers in the story line. Hope your blast isn't too severe this weekend!

  4. Oh Wow Jody -- it sounds heavenly! I've never snowshoed before but I'd love to try -- all the work sounds like fun to me. I'm thinking I need a week on your ranch -- we'd have so much fun! ;-D And oh dear Charlie! Isn't that dangerous for him to stick his head down there? Wouldn't a badger get the better of him???

  5. I love to snowshoe also. I am glad Charlie didn't wake up a badger. Your photos are beautiful and remind me of where I grew up. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love to snowshoe also. I am glad Charlie didn't wake up a badger. Your photos are beautiful and remind me of where I grew up. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Once I went snowshoeing on Mt. Shasta - over ten years ago now! But I would love to do it again. I still remember the white quiet, and how invigorating it was. It would certainly make a woman strong to do that often. The vast expanse of your prairie snow is so amazing to me. Thank you for the pictures!

  8. It does look like the moon! We don't get any snow around here so this is foreign and exotic and very beautiful to me.

  9. what a fun walk...I've snowshoes but haven't used them in years and hope I don't use them this year either. I do use ski poles to stabilize and balance me when I go to the barn...snow or no snow. Didn't know about the Arctic blast but it's here...cold, windy, snowy. Be safe out there!

  10. Snowshoeing sounds like fun and great exercise! I bet you're experiencing arctic temps by now. I know we are here in Minnesota. Stay safe and warm!

  11. I've never been snowshoeing and I'm feeling a bit winded just reading your account! I think I might be more of a cross country skiing sort of girl! The landscapes are beautiful, and I'm glad you're getting winter outdoor exercise. That's what keeps me sane during the cold months here.



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