I headed out first thing this morning to go skiing. After yesterday’s icy conditions, the new fallen snow was a welcome addition. However, my first clue that all was not going to go well was stepping off the deck into about 6″ of new snow – much more than I thought. Light and fluffy, I should be able to ski through it I figured. Wrong! Now only did the fresh powder swallow up my skis, but my boots also disappeared as I tried to ski. Skate skiing was a joke, having to lift my skis up and over the snow after each glide. So I decided, why fight it?
Deep snow just cries out for snowshoes. So I traded my skis for snowshoes and off I went through the woods. All started off just fine, as I followed the mountain bike trails which were barely traveled, and still pristine in the new snow. Tree branches were laden with snow, and as I dipped under those in my path I tried to prevent dislodging that beautiful white blanket. It was quiet and peaceful in the woods, with just the thumping of my sinking footsteps to break the silence. This was much better than trying to tame the snow on the ski trails.
Navigating in the woods has never been my strong point. So when I ended up at a bridge on the far side of the trail system, instead of where I’d intended to go, I was disappointed but not too surprised. Altering my route, I headed up Lester River. I’d seen this stretch of river many times, from the overlook on the ski trail. It was different to travel the riverbed way down below with steep banks stretching high above me. At one point I could hear the rushing of the river’s water well below the ice and snow – creepy and fascinating at the same time.
Tiring of the river, I returned to the woods following a deer trail. I figured I couldn’t go too far wrong with ski trails and Amity Creek ahead of me – either one could lead me home. I found the woods surprisingly easy to traverse, and soon discovered that if I paralleled the deer tracks, I could stay on top of the snow – an advantage to being small and light! Sure enough, I crossed the ski trails twice, as expected, and continued on to follow a little used snowmobile trail. On and on I went, with my confidence waning as rapidly as the distance growing behind me. Perhaps I wasn’t going the direction I thought I was? Just a little farther – maybe I can figure out my position around the next corner. Nope. Humiliated, and more than a little frustrated, I finally turned around and retraced my steps. I eventually found my way back to Lester River. By this time, the sun was trying to come out, and I actually used it to determine which way I should go. And it worked! What a novelty. Trudging back down the river, I was relieved to see where I had diverted into the woods earlier – I was now on home territory. I could breathe a bit easier, and began to enjoy my surroundings again.
By the time I returned home, although the temperatures were still in the low 20s, it was warm enough to sit out on our deck in the sunshine. Sitting in my favorite Adirondack chair, all seemed right with the world. Perhaps I will go back out again this afternoon in search of the trail I intended to take…