Monday, January 06, 2014

My first-of-the-winter snowshoeing excursion...

I didn't go far -- just around the shelter belts and into The Woods.  I climbed over the hard snow drifts in The Woods and didn't sink in at all, but out on the prairie and around the edges of the shelter belts it was much softer and required more energy and leg work.  

Yesterday was a cold, cold, cold day with high winds making wind chill temperatures of -40* or some crazy, incredible thing like that.  I only went out once to tend to the chickens and that was plenty enough time to feel the biting cold on my cheeks.  Poor Sue went along with me and by the time we got back to the house, she was carrying one paw and then another.  She was so cold.  No snow boots or hard hoofs on her feet like me or the cows and sheep.  Once in the house she was just fine.
 Looking back

Today we had great relief from the cold.  Yeah, it was still really cold here compared to California or Hawaii, but I went out snowshoeing under sunny 12 degree skies.  There's nothing like my fur-lined bomber cap for real warmth when there's wind and cold.  I even removed my mittens through part of the walk.  Snowshoeing really gets the heart pumping and keeps the body fairly warm.  It's mainly the exposed, bare skin on my face that suffers a little and sometimes my toes get cold.  The wind wasn't as strong today so I didn't feel bitten by the cold much, especially with fur next to my skin. 

For years I've been trying out different boots to wear with my snowshoes and have not yet found the perfect thing.  I've snowshoed in sneakers, Bogs, and packs.  It's so much like walking that you want a good-fitting athletic shoe that doesn't hurt your feet as well as a boot that is warm and waterproof.  A tall order, I know.  I just ordered a new boot, the Vasque Pow Wow.  I am so hoping that this is The Boot. 

The dogs had a blast today, running and chasing jackrabbits through the trees.  I had a blast too.  I don't know why I love being out there trudging through snow, but I do.  There's a different view that I appreciate.  The sky seems bluer, the bare trees look beautiful with an icy-blue background.  The snow drifts are etched like sand dunes, and on certain days, there are ice crystals shimmering in the air and on the snow.  Jackrabbit tracks and deer tracks are peppered here and there and of course, today there were dog prints from happy, romping dogs and snowshoe prints from a happy ranchwife.  I love it all.


  1. Hope that boot will be the one! Brrr... That freeze your face off cold is not fun. Glad things warmed up. I'm cracking up thinking warmed up is 12 degrees...yikes! Love the hat!

  2. Hurray someone else that braves the snow happily !
    What a wonderful picture of you ~ very contemplative .
    Wishing you all the best in the NEw Year.

  3. It sounds like a perfect play day. I'm glad Sue's okay. YOU look lovely, Jody!

  4. If we had snow, I'd go trek around in it. With the right gear, winter walking is grand. The only thing I don't like here is when the wind is really biting. No matter how fast I get my heart rate up, I can never get comfortable.

    Stay warm!


  5. Be safe out there, Jody; it's bitter. My snow shoes are in the garage and the garage is frozen least I take good care of the animals.

  6. Lovely post... Thanks for the info on the boots you wear with the snowshoes.

  7. I'm so happy YOU love it, and share it with us. I'm very content to see it through your eyes and your camera lens :) It does sound so quietly beautiful. Glad your temps are coming up a tad!

  8. Ohh thank you for posting. I have been worried about you. Heck who would have thought 12 degrees would be pleasant weather ;-)
    I hope the -40 does not come back. I cannot even imagine what that feels like xox Clarice

  9. It has been cold here...record breaking 11 or some crazy little number. But your picture! I love it and think it has an artsy flair. It would be really cool if someone did a pencil drawing from it. Stay warm! Oh...and check this out for Sue. My doggie has a facebook and I remember him putting these on his Christmas list: :-D

  10. I love snowshoeing. I would love to go out, poor Ella wants to go for a long run, but this darn cold. I really like my Muck boots with the snowshoes. Glad you had fun. Stay warm.

  11. Those look like some really nice sturdy boots. You'll have to let me know how you like them.

  12. Oh, you lucky girl -- that sounds like heaven to me. I would love to be out there tromping along with you. I'll take this nasty cold weather any day over sweltering heat! (she says in a warm home while feeling very thankful for heat ;-D)

  13. I honestly can't even imagine just how that kind of COLD feels. You said Jody, that the cold was unkind and I think that gives me perspective. I'm so glad you are enjoying 'warmer' temps!
    Joyce ( who has the sliding patio door open and needs to prune her roses here in sunny, warm So CAL)

  14. I am pretty sure I would love it too. I have wanted to go snow shoeing my whole life. I think seeing snow that no one had walked on and looking at tracks would be wonderful.
    I like your hat. I bet that would really keep your head warm. I do think it would be so nice to see the magic of this storm first hand.
    Enjoy your day. I bet it feels so good when you get back inside.

  15. I completely understand the search for the perfect snowshoe boot. When I first started snowshoeing, years ago, I used my snow boots. However, they are too heavy, too awkward, and definitely did not fit correctly for a comfortable 'walk'. In the interim, like you, I've switched around looking for a 'perfect' fit.

    The last couple of years I've used my waterproof hiking boots. They fit well and my feet stay dry. Since I'm rarely on level ground, the exertion from snowshoeing (in general) combined with the added sweat factor for going up and down keep me plenty warm. That was until a few days back when I took a long trip at and below zero. By the time I reached the warm house, all but two toes frozen and subsequently thawed out - but the process was miserable and made me realize an insulated hiking boot definitely has a use.

    So, I hope you post your thoughts on these new boots. I would like to know if they are worth the investment. I've looked at a couple pairs but. . .I've wondered if you could get a good enough fit to avoid sore feet AND whether the insulation offered was enough to do the trick.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  16. I love your bomber cap Jody you look very cool :)
    The snow photos look beautiful and make me want to walk with you. Lone walks in the snow are my favourite and when it snows here I enjoy a walk in the evening just before bed, around my village though, not out in the fields. The light is quite magic at night after a snowfall. Stay safe and warm x

  17. We were talking at dinner last night wondering if we'd get to snowshoe here at all this winter. We simply haven't had the snow. Cold, fog and frost, yes, but barely any snow. I hope we shall soon!


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