Trying new things

Snowshoe 1

Anyone who has read Brome Hill more than once most likely knows of my fondness for riding  bicycles.

Snowshoe 3But 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.

CoffeeBut, 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.

Snowshoe 4

Snowshoe 2