Feb 18 2024

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Snow at Last!

Posted at 7:07 am under Blog Post

Five inches of snow brightened the dreary, barren landscape here in northern Vermont. It came in two overnight storms, back-to-back. My first thought yesterday morning was to grab my snowshoes and put them to good use for the first time this year. I drove to Sheldon Forest, only 10 miles away, and was breaking trail within minutes of parking my car.

With temps in the 20s and the sun peeking through the clouds, I was comfortable enough even though the middle finger on my left hand complained. It was frostbitten years ago and reminded me that I need to be careful out here. After all, I’m a 60-something man snowshoeing alone. So I cut my pace.

A pair of snowshoe tracks came in from another direction. I traced them for a while as I followed the perimeter trail but couldn’t resist the trackless path disappearing into the conifers at the next junction. I went that way. Soon I was enjoying that deep woods feeling even though the road was less than a mile away. The trees around me were heavily laden with snow. The occasional gust of wind shook some of that snow loose, dusting me. That made me smile.

Stepping over large fallen trees isn’t easy with snowshoes, but it’s a small price to pay for getting off the beaten path. All the same, I was glad to get back on the main trail. Then mine was a pleasant, daydreamy tramp back to the starting point. The sun shined brightly through the canopy, illuminating the forest. This is the way the Northern Forest should be in February, I thought. I reveled in it, even as sweat ran a chill down my spine. My beard was frosty by the time I got back to the car. Yeah, a good outing.

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