Friday, February 4, 2011

Wild Women Weekend 2

Saturday was the second in the outdoor series at the local state park. The weather was a little cloudy, but it was not too windy and a nice 25 degrees.
We met at 10 at the park office. (Well ladies who were on time were there at 10, I was fashionably tardy...) There were a lot more women this time. Instead of 8 there were more than two dozen of us. This necessitated splitting the group into two. My group went cross country skiing first. The other half was snowshoeing first.
We got all the skis and boots and poles organized and into the van, then we walked to the start of the trail, where the van met us. Amid much laughter, we all managed to get clicked into the skis and down the first couple of hills. In spite of a couple of falls, I ended up close to the front, with some of the ladies who had cross country skied before. The 5 of us soon pulled away from the others, and we went quite a long ways before turning back to head back to the van and lunch.
I have to say, I really liked the skiing. The skis attach to the boots under the ball of the foot. This meant that a lot of the muscles in use are the ones that I exercise when I salsa dance. It was also the beginning of the day, and I was fresh and excited to be out. So, I caught on to the motion pretty quickly and was able to keep a good pace for most of the hour. Tricky parts included learning how to get back up after falling, learning how to get up hills and learning how to slow down. I'm still not really good at most of those, but by the end I was getting better. I think I fell down 6 times on the way out and only once on the way back in.

So, after an hour of skiing, we were all very ready for lunch, me included. Victoria, the conservationist, had once again made us a dutch oven feast. Last time was the dutch oven pizza, which was delicious, and she didn't disappoint with the Hungarian Goulash this time.

After lunch we spent some time learning about dog sledding, from a couple that do it for fun. They have a few Siberian Huskies and a little sled, which they brought to show us. After a discussion about safety and the realities of the sport and the dogs, they hooked the huskys to the sled and a few ladies got to try it out.

Fully rested, we split up again and I got my chance to try snowshoeing. Now, I don't know about you, but when I think snowshoeing, I think this:

But in reality, modern snowshoes have evolved a bit. They look a bit more like this:
I got really tired, really quick. :-) The snowshoes were great, don't get me wrong. I liked them. It was fun and pretty easy. I was at the end of my stamina though, having spent all week down with a cold, and all month hiding in the house to stay warm.
I pushed through for most of the hour, lagging a bit, huffing and puffing a bit, but still having too much fun to stop.

I called it a day after the snowshoeing. There was another hour scheduled of winter shelter building but I was done in. I didn't want to risk relapsing back into sick, so I bowed out of shelter making.

With both the skiing and the shoeing I couldn't help but think about how much harder it would be with 40 pounds of gear on my back. Or a gun on my shoulder or anything else really. Much more practice would be necessary to be able to do feats like that I think. Mad respect for those that can.

Gear Report: I invested in some long underwear for this event. Justin Charles merino wool pants to be specific. They come in men's sizes, but I found that a small fit me really well. (For the record ladies, I'm a curvy size 12.) If you're a smaller woman, and looking for wool base layer, this maker won't work for you, because Small is as small as they go. Which is too bad, because I really liked them. They fit well, they feel GREAT, and temperature regulation has been wonderful from the first day outside, through a week sitting at the office. (Yes, I've been wearing them every day since buying them. I have a 30 minute drive to and from work on a country highway, I prefer to wear clothing that will handle any kind of emergency, and with -30 windchills this week, I wasn't messing around.) I got them on sale for 40$, down from the original 120$ the big box store wanted. They are definitely worth the 40, I'm not sure I would say they are worth 120. The manufacturer sells them for 60 online, I would say yes to that too.

I realized I need some sunglasses. I like the sun, I've never felt the need to own sunglasses, but even with the cloudy day we had Saturday, I was still dealing with a bit of snow-glare and I would have really had trouble on a sunny day.

All in all, a great weekend. I'll be doing more of those sports I bet.

No comments: