Sunday, January 19, 2014

Snowmobile trail walking and the perils within...

Now before you get all worked up, the perils of walking on a snowmobile trail did not in the least involve a snow mobile.  And also, there wasn't much actual peril, but it got YOUR attention, didn't it?! Let me go back.....
Well, it wasn't sunny today, unfortunately!

I headed out for my walk today about 8:30 or so, and I headed to the west to The Outhouse bar on the corner of E and B, which is where I take a right to be able to walk past my beloved Stone House.  The Stone House, by the way, is kinda inaccessible, because the snow is ridiculously deep.  I have learned my lesson from snow shoeing and don't plan on tromping through possible hip deep snow without snow shoes.  And even then it might be a bit dicey.  Anyway, I was trucking along, watching my feet almost the whole time, with full intention of hitting Maple Ridge road, go right and complete the loop and head home on Hwy E.  This would be about 5 miles and easily fill my desire to do some distance walking, in  preparation for this.

As I was walking along, having to be very careful to keep an eye out for cars and an eye out for slippery spots on the road, I did not see, until I heard her shouting, my neighbor Rita.  The ear buds were in and I was enjoying one of my awesome playlists that I got from my friend the Mad-Marathoner Samara.  So I stopped to chat with Rita, who was over on the snowmobile trail about 20 or 30 feet off the road.  She was telling me how fun it was to go on the trail, and the days that the groomer went through (Thursday and/or Friday) , and therefore which days were best for walking on the trails (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).  She told me that I just needed to catch the trail over on Mapleridge (to the left instead of the right) and then walk through the beautiful woods etc.  Of course I know the area and so mapped out in my mind where the rest of the trail was, including the part that runs right through our property. She described in detail the path between where we were standing and my house, and this was DOABLE.  Well this is pretty cool, she assured me that the walking was good and she and I went on our way!  Awesome, right?  I LOVE finding new places to walk.  And of course you-know-who has her cameras with her!!!!!  WA HOO.

Stone house from a different angle

Well I get over to MapleRidge and hit the trail and it is just gorgeous. The trails go through the properties of various people and you get to see things that you don't ordinarily. You go through areas that would be wood tick and mosquito ridden in the spring and summer, and besides, most property, including ours, is not accessible during the rest of the year.  The woods are wonderful, the trail is groomed and I start walking.  My issue at first, as was the entire walk, are the big clunky boots I am wearing for traction.  It is hard to get proper ankle flexion and so it is hard to attain any speed.  Besides my ankles, and hip flexors were a bit fatigued from the snow shoeing yesterday, but wah.  whatever debi.  Anyway, the thing that didn't occur to me and Miss Rita neglected to point out is that the snowmobile trails are HILLY.  I mean HILLY, man. Which ordinarily I would have been all over and celebrating for the extra calorie burn......  oy. And then of course there is the trail which gets ruffled up from the machine tracks- and yeah that makes for interesting walking.  Step step slip step slip.....

I love that there is this little bit of color left from when the house held some life.

So I was following Ritas footsteps, because she was picking through and finding the areas with best traction and all.  This was good, Rita was still in my good graces for getting me on this new route, and then as I crossed the one road and set off for the next section of trail, Rita's footprints (with her dog's tracks as well) are no where to be seen.  Apparently Rita knows what the next section is like and stayed on the road then!  Thanks a LOT!!  LOL. It was HILLY again and I encountered some machines, which was fine, and I strayed off the trail like by a foot's width and wham. Down I went up to my MID THIGH.  The misleading things is that the snow that is soft and the snow that is groomed are the same height, weirdly and cruelly.  So yeah, don't get off trail to text someone or you will find yourself suddenly up to your tushie in snow.  And then you have wet pant legs.  Between the slow gait, the picture-taking, the new route and blah blah blah, I was out there for 2 HOURS and 5 minutes- WHEW!!!!

So, I am in reality grateful to Rita, as this will be a lot of fun.  There are tons of possibilities for routes and variations on that theme, but I need to rethink my footwear.  Tennies might be better with a few pairs of socks.  Idk, I'll try some things out.  I have to remember that this won't be a fast walk, more for endurance and it really does give you a workout with all the little foot slips and balance readjustments.

This is the house that is across from the Stone house

 My day was totally thrown off from what I had stated earlier.  I got home much later than I thought I would, so I decided to hold off on the gym until tomorrow, go upstairs and clean a while (it was a good thing to do!), then go back to the cabin on snowshoes (I question my sanity sometimes) and then whip up a yummy Enchilada Casserole that has black beans and butternut squash.  HOLY SMOKES was that ever good!  I have plenty of goodies to eat this week!  YES!

So, I think I need to go get my stuff ready for tomorrow, as we do not have a day off for MLK day. We have a Records Day this Friday, which amazingly enough means that the school year is half over.  HOLY CRAP.  It is always nice to have things ready to roll in the morning, and I am thinking a skirt or dress might be in order, as the rest of the week is supposed to be getting colder.... surprise surprise.  But that's what winter is in WI, and I will try my best to find some joy.

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