Anyone who has read Brome Hill more than once most likely knows of my fondness for riding bicycles.
But this time of year in Iowa, bicycling opportunities are limited. And a guy can only bike inside on a trainer and/or at cycling classes at the Muscatine Community Y so many times before he starts to go stir crazy. So, when biking friends started making plans Saturday night at a fellow cyclist’s 50th birthday party for a little snowshoeing Sunday at Wild Cat Den State Park, I thought: Why not?
There was only one problem: I had never been on snowshoes before. And I didn’t even have a pair of them.
This problem was easily rectified after I finished teaching the 1 p.m. cycling class at the Y. I headed for Menard’s, bought a pair of snowshoes and then drove out to the Den.
There were other minor problems once I arrived:
- I had never before tried to use snowshoes. And I am not a natural — being someone who trends to drag and shuffle my feet. Also, I am a pretty bad supinator, which makes snowshoes feel pretty awkward.
- It was only about 9 degrees outside. But that’s why I was out there in the first place — trying to make lemonade out of lemons, so to speak. If it’s too cold and snowy to ride a bike, Sunday was as good a day as any to learn something new to stay active outside.
- My left foot seemed to immediately take to the concept of using a snowshoe. My right foot, however, wasn’t so sure. This wasn’t a surprise. My left leg is dominant when it comes to bicycling and a host of other activities. But I am going to need some practice just to get better at putting the snowshoes on and then taking them off.
But, to make a long story short: I trekked my first 40 minutes or so on a pair of snowshoes. And I got to spend some quality time outside on a beautiful day at one of my favorite places — even if it was only 9 degrees. It left me with only one other minor problem: Once I got inside, I was chilled and couldn’t get warm. But that was nothing that three cups of coffee couldn’t cure. A bowl of homemade carrot soup for dinner also helped.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Until Tuesday, I’ll leave you with a few more pictures from the Den. It really is an awesome spot — even when it’s only 9 degrees outside.
There is much going on this week, but I’ll get back here as often as I can. Have a great week.