When a friend asks you if you want to snow shoe hike on your day off, you say yes…. even if it means bringing your toddler with you. What else would you do? Stay at home? Run errands? All those things you can do any day of your life that don’t matter or won’t make memories?
So you suit up and go.
And perhaps you invite your nanny and her friend along, because the more the merrier….or the more to carry her….
You go, despite the 30mph winds that are blowing and despite the fact 5 miles round trip in the snow is a lofty goal. Because maybe, just maybe, in the trees the wind will die down..
You remember what it feels like to be in the woods, alone, to play in the snow and to sweat and to work hard and be in pain in your shoulders and back from the weight of that which you carry…
Breaking trail, making new tracks through the snow. You walk with the others, but you also walk alone.
There’s something about fighting and finding your way that not only strengthens but humbles a person. You question why you’d leave the comfort of your warm house for this, just as much as you question why you don’t do things like this more.
There’s frozen lakes and three moose. There’s silence and laughter. The snow swirls around and the wind dies and the sun starts to shine, just as your daughter starts to get restless and have a meltdown.
And sometimes you don’t make it to your destination…. but you realize the journey was your destination.
Because the people you are with…they are just as content to turn around and head back as you are. And you realize at that moment you’ve chosen the right type of people to be on this adventure with… people that want to help you and check on you… inspire you and take care of you. You leave with such a feeling of happiness that you can’t believe it’s over. So what else to do, but plan it all over again…
I cannot promise you it will be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it.
Because a child will never remember the best day of her life as watching television… and no one ever frames photos of their kids playing on the Ipad.
Want to take your child on a beginner snow shoe hike?
My top picks:
Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Echo Lake, Mount Evans Wilderness
Lost Lake Trail, Nederland
Burning Bear Trail, Guanella Pass, off 285 side
Pro tip: Dress the littles as if you were going skiing. Remember a neck warmer for them, waterproof gloves, goggles to protect from wind, warm socks, and waterproof shoes, PLUS a wind proof jacket. Add in some toe and hand warmers. Kids aren’t as good at regulating their body temperature and if you’re carrying them, they aren’t working as hard as you, so remember to check and make sure they are staying warm. Keep in mind that whatever distance you go, you have to return, and be prepared to turn around anytime. Most importantly, carry your sense of humor, you’ll need it!