Don’t get me wrong, I’d have to say I still prefer the warmth and sunshine of summer but when winter roles around, I’m just as excited for the adventures and experiences that come with it.
As another winter season is (finally) coming to an end, I want to share with you some of the ways I got out and enjoyed the snow and cold this year, as well as some of the things I would like to set up for next year.
I had taken quite the hiatus when it came to skiing, but in the last two years I hit the slopes again. Sadly, this winter season was pretty dismal on the eastern seaboard so I only really got one solid day in. Although it seems daunting at first, a little guidance and a bunny hill can quickly get almost anyone comfortable enough to strap two skis to their feet and work towards a double black diamond. I was a quick learner and experienced my first double black diamond at Blue Mountain Resort north of Toronto, even if it was mostly by scooting down on my butt. I should mention that while I’m a fan of downhill skiing, cross-country doesn’t seem to give me the same thrill. Perhaps it was the skis we used in elementary school, so I’m open to giving it another try.
The last time I tried snowshoeing was back in elementary school. I recall them bringing out the classic, tennis racket looking shoes and attempting to trudge through the field of snow. It was exhausting and clunky and I can’t say I recall the experience fondly. This winter however, I learnt that snowshoeing has had a major facelift. High tech snow shoes allow you to lift your heals and walk with more ease. I had the chance to walk a frozen lake that was covered with over a foot of snow as well as hike up a mountain this winter. Talk about a work out! I was not cold at all. Next season, I hope to do some more snowshoeing and see whether I can do a longer hike and maybe some winter camping…maybe.
When my friend Ryan was visiting from Australia, we wanted to give her the full experience of winter. One of those days found us out on the ice skating like we were prepping for the Olympics. (We’ll never be that good but we didn’t fall down at least!) That night was dreadfully cold but the music, crisp air, and excitement of an Aussie on skates outside for the first time warmed me right up.
A few times when I was a kid, living out in the country, we headed out on snowmobiles and the many trails located around Ontario. Needless to say, it’s been years since my last ride. There’s something exciting to the idea of being able to go on a ‘road trip’ of sorts, bringing all your gear and travelling through a region on the snowmobile trails. Hopping from towns to cabins, stopping in, pulling off your gloves, and grabbing a hot chocolate to warm you up. Now, if only they weren’t so loud. Next year I’d like to find a way to map out North America’s trails, venture through some part of Canada and explore the wilderness with the power of a snowmobile.
The first and only activity on this list that doesn’t start with an ‘S’, dogsledding is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I visited the ‘Valley Snow Dogz’ in New Hampshire a couple years ago and am itching to go back and head out with the beautiful dogs they have there. This season my mom and sister got to try this sport and absolutely loved it. They even got to guide their own sled. For anyone who is a dog lover, seeing them in their glory as they dash through the snow can only warm your heart. Next winter, dogsledding is a must.
How many of the above activities have you tried and what would you like to take a shot at? Have I missed anything?
Like summer, winter offers so many ways to still get outside, be active and enjoy the beauty that a snow covered wonderland offers up. You’ve got the next three seasons of the year to get your winter plan prepared so hop to it.
For now however, so long winter, it’s time to let Spring show us what it’s got.