And we have had cold! But that has not stopped us from getting out nearly daily, to keep ourselves and the dogs active through our long winter. Here in Vermont, the month of January had dramatic temperature swings, from minus 25 (f) to highs of 52 (f). Our monthly total of less than 5 inches of snowfall resulted in mere traces of snow on multiple days, leaving “nice” nice coatings of snow dust on top of surfaces frozen grey from the 4-5 days of rain we had. Despite the temperature swings, often gusty winds, and frequently slick trail conditions, in January we managed to get in 19 days snowshoeing, 4 days spike hiking, and 4 days of skijoring/kicksledding. I conducted one snowshoe clinic for the local recreation department, and we also hosted a moonlight snowshoe for the local lake advocacy Board of Directors. I also presented a slideshow on our Banff trip for a Senior Center’s monthly Travelogue program.
We are giving our Tubbs Snowshoes quite the workout, and they continue to do an exceptional job at giving us safe access to trails in all conditions!
February has already turned the corner…we picked up 8-10 inches of snow over the past few days, and over a foot is expected this week. The dogs will appreciate the fact that the forecast does not include any bitter cold temperatures, so for now, anyway, their doggy boots can remain tucked away in our parka pockets.
Our search for better snow conditions has taken us on a few road trips, providing the opportunity to explore new trails suitable for easy day trips. We also hiked up Laraway Mt. for our annual mid-winter trek to see the ice columns. Our local trails have continued to serve us well, and we have been pretty fortunate to find some nice snowshoeing, even when the we were not optimistic about potential conditions . We even discovered that a local trail network, when conditions are just right, makes a great kicksledding area.
Laraway Mountain section of Vermont’s Long Trail:
Taconic Mt Ramble, the newest Vermont State Park
Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge, in nearby New Hampshire
Our full moon snowshoe…on some pretty icy and firm snow, and with the full moon obscured by snow clouds!
Kicksledding and skijoring
…and finally, snowshoeing on our local trails. We are definitely fortunate to live in such a great area for outdoor recreation!
And so our winter adventures continue! We have a few upcoming speaking engagements, and we will also be conducting additional snowshoe clinics and guided hikes for the recreation department. We recognize that paddling season is less than 10 weeks away!!! Our minds occasionally shift to Canoe Mode, as we need to make our plans for next summers paddling expeditions. We already have reservations for Keji National Park in Canada, for backcountry canoeing and camping, but the rest of our plans are still in formation stage. Stay Tuned!
Enjoy the rest of the winter, keep active and exploring, and it is almost time to Think Spring!
*Credit: Lyrics by Irving Berlin