Hi again everyone! I hope you are all having a fantastic day. Well, here it is January once again. Normally a time of very cold and lots of snow. We don’t have either this year, but that’s okay, I really don’t mind at all. At one time I didn’t mind so much spending time outdoors in the winter. I was crazy, that’s the only way to explain it. Anyway, I used to enjoy snowshoeing, even when it was very cold. I found it a very nice way to enjoy the solitude of the winter forest.
But, like most outdoor activities, it is best to do with someone else. Just in case. Problems can arise that we just do not anticipate and, if alone, those problems can be dangerous. That didn’t stop me however. No one else shared my enthusiasm for snowshoeing. Or hiking. Or canoeing. Or most any other outdoor activity. So I usually was off by myself enjoying the winter beauty of the boreal forest. One year in January there was about 3 feet (nearly 1 meter), of snow on the ground. Great for snowshoes.
That day, as I started out, it was -15F (-26C), so not too bad. And I was dressed warmly. That was a good thing as it turned out. But as usual I didn’t tell anyone where I was going or how long I would be away. Something that definitely should be done when going out alone. But easy to follow a snowshoe trail, right? Problem is I had a lot of trails around, hard packed trails, so I didn’t wear my snowshoes until I got to an area where I would make a new trail. So it could take a while to find out which trail I took, if people had to come looking for me.
It was really beautiful. The sun was shining brilliantly through the pines. And it was quiet. The only noise was me. Periodically I would stop and listen. Nothing. Just quiet. No sign of life at all. Except at one spot a squirrel was sitting at the base of a large pine chewing on a pine cone. He paid no attention to me when I stopped to watch. Those cones are rock hard but he had no trouble biting it open to extract the small seeds inside. Unfortunately I didn’t bring any food with me or I would have shared some with him.
I was heading off to an area I hadn’t been before. It was simply breathtaking looking off into the trees, the sun’s rays shining through and glistening on the snow. After a bit I turned back toward a more familiar area as there was a small cliff along a valley and I wanted to go down to the valley and then swing back to another trail I had made a week before. Even with snowshoes it was hard going at times and I was starting to get a bit tired when I arrived at the cliff edge. I was wondering if I should turn and head back or go down to the valley below.
It was a new part of this cliff area for me to explore, and there was a nice easy way down to a ledge about 30 or so feet (about 10 meters) down the cliff. It was just a nice gentle slope so off I went. About half way down this ‘slope’ I heard some cracking sounds and then…WHUMP! I fell the last 20 feet (about 6 meters). But that wasn’t the worst of it…
Well, this is starting to get long so we will save the rest for next time. Thank you for reading, see you next time, have a wonderful day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.