Friday, March 6, 2015

Anatomy of a Friday

Most of my Monday through Thursdays are pretty standard and involve getting in an early morning run a few days a week plus the typical routine of getting Sam to school, working all day, picking Sam up, getting dinner ready, rushing around in the evening to get organized for the next day and then going to bed early to do it all over again :)

Fridays are the wildcard in the equation. I might work half a day, or get up early to go for a long run, or volunteer in Sam's classroom in the afternoon or any combination of those things. Today, I did none of those things, but nonetheless kept pretty busy (read: ran around like crazy).

I was up a little before 5:00 am for my run. I drove over to the hiking parking lot in Highland Green, noticed the car thermometer was reading -1 and regretted not bringing my buff. The sun was just beginning to rise as I put on my snowshoes and headed up into the woods. Very pretty.


I ran around the Heath, enjoying the soft pink light above the snowed over marsh, then headed across the street down to the river. Conditions were pretty solid where there had been a lot of traffic, with the packed snow crunching loudly beneath my snowshoes. In other spots, conditions were still crunchy but softer, if that makes any sense, and out on the Rapids Loop someone had taken a walk without snowshoes, and my oh my, there is still alot of snow out there! They must have postholed in at least 12" or so in numerous spots. Ugh.

I had contemplated heading out to Head of Tides but no one had been out that way since the last snow and I wasn't feeling super ambitious, so I decided to stick to the main Cathance trails instead, and so wandered back on the trails through the woods down to the river, retracing my steps up the Barnes Leap trail and back across the street along the Heath. My face was getting kind of cold by the end, and no wonder, when I got back to the car I realized my whole face and hat and the edge of my coat was coated with frost. And I had a few frozen eyelashes too :) Brrr! Ended up with 5 miles on the nose in a little over an hour. Solid start to the morning.

Then it was home to shower, get Sam and I breakfast, send Ryan off to work, and get organized for the day. I dropped Sam off at school and then stopped to pick a few things up at the grocery store and get gas in the car before heading home to load the cats up into the carriers to take them to the vet. Always good times. Luckily, this morning was only a brief struggle ;)

I then spent the next 25 minutes listening to a chorus of meows and yowls, the two of them echoing each other the whole way down to Falmouth Vet. Oh the joys. It was good to catch up with Katy, though, and both cats are healthy, if fat :) Then another 25 minutes of feline harmony on the way home.

Managed to get the shower cleaned, one load of laundry folded and another one started before a brief lunch, then it was on to dusting, vacuuming and swiffering both floors, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the fridge and the microwave, doing more laundry and cooking up roasted sweet potatoes for dinner before realizing that I really needed to head out to the dump to do the recycling if there was any chance of doing that plus picking up the beans that I forgot to get at the store this morning for dinner plus vacuuming out the car - which looked like a kid picked up all their snacks and dumped them on the floor (oh wait! that is what happened!!) - before getting Sam at school at 3:15. I acknowledged that there was no way I was going to have time to sit in line to get the outside of the car cleaned, but oh well.

Hit the dump, the store and the car vacuums. Got the top layer of grime off the seats and floor, and threw out a bunch of crap from the back seat. Wondered if I had left the stove on. Sh*t! Drove home to check. It was off (of course). Drove to school and arrived with several minutes to spare. Woohoo! Chatted with a neighbor while waiting for Sam to arrive. Then it was off to her PT appointment (she thinks it is just so much fun to play with Miss Rebecca, which is awesome, and she really is getting much more strength and flexibility in her right ankle, which is great). The home again to cook up dinner and sit on the couch with Sam for a bit before Ryan got home. A few games of Uno and a round of hide and seek before bathtime and bedtime for Sam, and now I'm about ready for bed myself :)


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Midweek Running

Got out yesterday morning at 6:00 am for a nice loop along the snowmobile trails out onto Lover's Lane toward the dump. Conditions were pretty solid and it was nice to be able to move along at a decent winter clip :) The back side of the loop hadn't been touched by snowmobiles after the few inches of snow we received Sunday night but there had been a snowshoer and a few fat bikes out there, so it packed down slightly at least. Once again, another beautiful morning to be out, but no pictures this time :) Ended up with 6.7 miles for the day.

More snow last night. I haven't slept well the past few nights, so I wasn't feeling very energetic, which essentially meant I wasn't feeling mentally prepared to trudge along on my snowshoes :) So once again I put on my screwshoes and headed across the street. The snowmobile trails were a bit too soft due to the 3" of new snow and the warmer temps, so I turned off and did an out and back on Highland Green Road instead. The road had been plowed although not super well, but it was enough to enable me to be able to tick off two miles in the low 9s and one at 8:45 pace. Hey, that's pretty good for me in sloppy winter screwshoe conditions so I'll take it :) It was so "warm" (32 degrees) that I only wore one pair of tights and a light top underneath my jacket! Woohoo. First time that has happened in a long while!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Frosty

Today was the last snowshoe race, which meant I knew I would be better off getting my run done before Ryan left the house in the morning; otherwise there was definitely the chance it wouldn't get done, and I was determined to get it done. So, when the alarm went off at 4:30 this morning, I went downstairs, looked at the thermometer, which was reading -4 (!), sighed, and went about getting ready to run regardless.

I headed out around 5:35 am, running toward the glowing orange horizon. I know I am constantly saying this, but it truly is awesome to be out running early enough that I have the chance to watch the sky lighten and the sun rise; it truly is magical. The snow crunched beneath my feet and the cold air stung my throat. The snowmobile trail was like a highway this morning - maybe not a perfectly straight or evenly packed highway, but man, there had sure been a lot of traffic! I knew this meant it would be a good day to do the dump/Lover's Lane loop, as if there was going to be traffic on the back side of the loop through the woods it would be now.

As I meandered through the woods, the sky was turning a pale pink, the tree branches were frost covered, the birds were singing. Yes, it was -4 and my buff was completely frozen, but damn, if it just wasn't beautiful out there.





Had to do a bit of extra on the neighborhood roads to get to 7 miles for the morning, but I was determined to get to 40 miles for the week so I did what had to be done :)

Turned out to be a very good call to get in the run early, as we ended up being at the park from 10:00 until around 1:15, after which we headed to Edna & Lucy's to eat and catch up with everyone while waiting for Ryan to arrive. Just as Sam had had enough and said, "Now where the heck is Daddy?" he walked in, so we continued to hang out while he and John ate. Sabrina was nice enough to bring out a big piece of brown paper and some chalk markers for Sam to color with, so we were able to have a leisurely few hours there before heading home. A good day all around! And now that the snowshoe series is over, let the melting begin :)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Beautiful, if Soft and Slow

OK, so I did actually get out of bed at 4:30 am this morning thinking I was going to run. But it was -7 and you know, I'm kind of over running in those temps, so I just fed the cats and climbed back into bed instead :) Dedicated, right?! Ryan headed off for the Brad to mark the course while Sam and I headed to the Y for swimming, and to Frosty's afterward of course :) Then it was home to bake cookies and cupcakes for tomorrow's race.

By the time Ryan got home around 1:00 pm, the sun was high in the bright blue sky and temps were in the mid 20s. Perfect. Since I was going to have a chance to run in daylight again, I thought I'd head over to the Cathance for a snowshoe run. The snowmobile trails could wait until tomorrow morning, when they would likely be a better choice, with much firmer surface and less crowded than on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon anyway.

I ended up having to park at the hiker parking lot along the back dirt (mud) road instead of at the Ecology center lot, and so started up the hill and connected to the Heath trail. I ran into a group of older women snowshoeing, who said, "My, you're athletic!" and then a small group of skiers, one of who looked at me incredulously and said, "You are actually running on those snowshoes?" Ha. I honestly haven't been doing a lot of running where I have had the chance to run into anyone on the trails so I got a big kick out of these comments. I think of myself as normal, but maybe not so much? :)

Then it was across the street and down along the river. The trails have all seen a lot of use, but things were still amazingly soft and I slipped off the thin ribbon of packed stuff more than a few times into the fluff and did some good sliding around. Overall, it was fairly slow going but I wasn't actively pushing the pace either, more just trying to enjoy the woods and get in some miles. Many deer tracks out there and some pileated woodpecker signs too. I stopped at the little rock outcropping before turning up from the river in the hopes of seeing the mink prints again, but no luck.

Heading up from the river to the field, I ran into a pair snowshoeing. Again, it was another, "You're running? In showshoes?!" ;)

I wanted to get in an hour/5 miles of running, so I turned left to run the Ravine Loop and then crossed the bridge to the trail out of Head of Tides. Not quite as much traffic this way and definitely some good slipping going on on the sidehill, but it really was just so pretty out there. I turned around at the Blueberry Trail junction and headed back to the car, ending up with 5 miles on the nose. What a beautiful afternoon to be out!



Friday, February 27, 2015

Pretty Darn Great

I know I am pretty darn lucky to have (most) Fridays off to run, get stuff done, volunteer in Sam's classroom and do the things that don't get done the rest of the week, etc. And today, I was even luckier to be able to spend 3+ hours out on the trails at Bradbury, running 18 miles. And even better, in screwshoes! Hurray.

Ryan was nice enough to hang with Sam this morning so I could get an early start, so I hit the trails a few minutes after 7:00 am. It was in the single digits but no wind and the sun was out, so it really was pretty comfortable once my hands warmed up (which took about a mile). I had on one of Ryan's vests over my hydration pack so the hose wouldn't freeze and it worked pretty well, except that with my big gloves it was tough to access the hose and my gels. I headed out onto the snowmobile trail, enjoying the dry snow crunching underneath my feet. It was decent running, although a little more churned up than I would have liked, which meant I had to work a bit harder than I would have liked too. The trails and the woods were quiet, although I did see a lot of deer activity and some great turkey prints out in the corn fields. It was there that I was also scared half to death by a pair of black labs (presumably the ones Val knows) who were friendly but who I really didn't want running with me. After a few minutes of standing still, they turned back around and I continued on to the powerlines. I ran for a few minutes along the lines themselves, but I most certainly do not know the Beautiful Loop well enough to even think about wanting to run it solo, so I turned around when the Garmin beeped 5 miles and headed back to the park.

Back at the parking lot, I stopped at the aid station (car) to change my shirt, hat and gloves (sweaty and getting cold because of it) and have a snack before continuing on. Although the snowmobile trail was nice, I wasn't digging it enough to do another out-and-back, so I decided to try out the mountain side. And I am very happy I did - it was great running over there! I ran up the Ski Trail and the Northern Loop trail to the summit, stopping at the top to take in the sparkling light on the ocean in the distance, then took the Boundary Trail. Now, I do not have much love for the Boundary Trail, but I have to say that today, it was awesome. It was perfectly packed and I was running it in the opposite direction we normally would, which meant it was mostly downhill and I was just having so much fun.

I saw that the Connector was well tracked, so decided, what the heck. Lovely out there as usual. I was surprised to find that, near the junction with the Tryon trails, the trail was groomed and the grooming continued both up the mountain toward the Feldspar Quarry and down toward Lawrence Road. Since I've never gone right at the junction before, once again, I said, what the heck. Well, this was not a stretch friendly to wildlife recently. It appeared that the groomer had run over a skunk :( and then right past the Quarry, there was a full, fairly new, deer carcass in the middle of the trail. I'm assuming it had been dragged out into the open, but I did not wish to get close enough to find out for sure. And of course, right then, my Garmin beeped, as it does every half hour, which means "time to eat!" HA! Yes, such good timing ;) If the carcass hadn't been there, I probably would have continued on the groomed trail just to check it out, but instead, I turned around and headed down the hill to the road.

The sun was shining, the trail was groomed and I had more miles to run, so I headed up the trail to the field, where I did a small loop following the groomer tracks and then back to Lawrence, retracing my steps back to the park. There, I turned left on the Boundary trail and then up the Northern Loop Trail to go back up to the summit. At the top, I saw two snowshoers, the first people I had seen on the west side of the park. Since the Boundary Trail was so much fun the first time around, and it would bring me back to the parking lot with 18 miles run, I decided to do another loop. I was certainly feeling the time and miles a bit more the second time around, but I stand by my thought that it was indeed an awesome trail to run today.


Saw the snowshoers finishing up their hike, and the older gentleman said to the woman, "1:02, not bad!" I made some small talk with them, and he said, "So what? You were out for 25 minutes or so? How'd you get back so fast?" I laughed, and said, "Well, actually, I hate to say this, but I've been out for over three hours," to which, he signed and said, "Well, that doesn't make me feel so good about our hour!" HA! :) Ended up with 18 miles in 3:20 moving time (3:34 total time), and very happy indeed. Hard to beat a beautiful morning spent running in the woods!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snowy Roads

More snow yesterday. Once again I just didn't feel like putting on my snowshoes. I know, I know, I should be embracing it. This is the winter for snowshoeing without a doubt. But I am pining for dirt, so the thought of many more snowshoe runs to come sometimes just gets to me. I headed out a few minutes before 6:00 am as a light snow was falling. There were about 3" of fluffy stuff on the ground. The powerlines were soft, but Highland Green Road was in decent shape. They are working on the end of the dirt road section, so I couldn't do the loop and just stuck with the out and back. Nothing fancy, nothing fast, just another 5 miles added into the mileage bucket :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This....

...might just be my favorite picture of the winter so far...


I do wonder sometimes what Sam thinks of us. All this running and racing. And then I realize, well, it's all she knows. It's normal in her book. And then I think, oh boy, well she's in for it :) She just doesn't realize how crazy we probably are. Ha! But I love it. I love that she wants to do these things. That she is excited to run a race, to volunteer at an aid station, to make cookies and treats for the winners, that she understands (at least a little) why it is important that Mommy and Daddy get out for their runs and skis and snowshoes, that she wants to go outside when it is cold and the wind is whipping and can last for an hour (or longer!) on the sledding hill on a frigid day, that I can see the joy in her face as she runs down the trail and tromps in the snow on her snowshoes in the Cathance. I know we might not be exposing her to the more typical team sports out there, but I do hope that we are exposing her to what will become a lifetime love of nature and the outdoors; that she is learning that running and skiing and snowshoeing out in the woods can be a powerful and wonderful way to connect with yourself and your friends and the world around you; that she can learn that being out there, maybe not as the fastest, but just doing it, is the most important.

[As for running today, no way. Temps were -20 this morning. I'll be back at it tomorrow.]

Monday, February 23, 2015

Uninspired

I so so so so did not want to run this morning. But the weather was calling for intense cold and windchill overnight tonight into tomorrow morning, so chances of actually getting out tomorrow looked slim to none. Reluctantly, I decide to swap my rest day today for tomorrow, which meant that I was out the door this morning, snowshoes in hand, at 6:00 am. I ran out and back on the snowmobile trails to Lovers Lane, and about the only good things I can say about the run are that I got out there, it wasn't cold and I only needed my headlamp for the first few minutes. Otherwise, it was a very low energy slog on soft, newly rolled snow, which only heightened my lack of umph out there. But hey, it can't all be feel good, fast days and I know I will certainly appreciate being able to sleep in tomorrow!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sam's First Snowshoe Race!

I was up early this morning to get my run in before we headed up to Waterville for Ryan and Sam's snowshoe races. We got about 4" of fluffy snow overnight, but I really didn't have it in me to take out the snowshoes again after yesterday's long run. However, I really should have, because, honestly, the run wasn't great. The powerlines were soft and slow; and the roads were essentially unpowed. In fact, the best part of the run was the back dirt road portion of Highland Green as it was packed solid underneath just a few inches of snow - someone had been out in a big truck sometime overnight and there were good tracks for running. But I suppose if what I was after was a run on tired legs, I got it :) 7 miles in 1:20.

We headed up to Waterville around 7:30. The drive wasn't bad, and with the fluffy, but wet, snow sticking to the trees along the way, it was very pretty. The Quarry Snowshoe Shuffle was being held at the Quarry Road Recreation Area, near Colby. It was a beautiful morning for it. Warm and no wind. The Fun Run was first, so Sam and I suited up and got set next to the four other kids and one mom who were taking part. The route was a little lollypop, with the beginning and end on groomed trail and the middle on narrow, partially packed singletrack. Sam did a great job running the groomed stuff, and we kept up a good clip walking along the singletrack. The 0.5 mile lollypop took us 15 minutes. Not bad for a 5-year old! She was very proud to get her medal at the end :) and then had a great time playing out in the snow with the other kids while the adults were out running the 5k.

It was truly lovely to be able to spend so much time outside playing in the snow and not be freezing! I could take these winter days!

Ryan and Sean both had good races, with Ryan coming in 2nd and Sean 4th. Gines did a great job with the course and the prizes, and we all had a lot of fun. We met up with him and his family for lunch in downtown Waterville after the race to round out the morning.

Ready to run!

Sam and Daddy

Movin' on the groomers

Singletrack

Coming into the finish!

Quarry Snowshoe Shuffle ready to roll

And they're off!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mockingbird FatAss Snowshoe Run

This morning was the 6th annual Mockingbird Lane Fat Ass at Val and Rick and Linda's. I missed a few of them due to work, but did make it over there last year and it was a great time. Of course, Last year involved a whole lot of sunshine, warmth and a big, slushy stream crossing. This year was bright and sunny too, but conditions couldn't have been more different. It was -7 at the start and the stream crossing? You didn't even realize it was there, it was covered with so much snow! But on the other hand, it was another great day for a long run with friends!

I drove over with John, Laurie and Tom, enjoying catching up with them in the car, and then chatting with others as we all put off to the very last minute going outside and suiting up in our snowshoes. Yes, snowshoes were pretty much mandatory. There were a few who went without, but based on the slipping, sliding, postholing tracks I saw, I'm not sure they were the wisest ;)

The "loop" was more like an out-and-back Y. There was a bit of lovely singletrack through the woods at the beginning, then out on a soft section through the field to connect up to the snowmobile track, then back across the street for another out and back on more snowmobile trail. Conditions were pretty decent, and the first loop went by a little too quickly. It took a few miles for my hands and feet to warm up but after that I remained fairly comfortable for the rest of the run. The first loop was spent leapfrogging and talking with Joe, Laurie, Bob, Tom and John. We got back to the house in a little under an hour. I ran in to remove my buff and change into lighter gloves, and when I got back out, Emma was suited up to run, so we headed out together. It was great to run with her, and we had a good time chatting away and continued a good pace, spending a bit of time running with Blaine and others along the way. 

Although I had a few gels in the first two laps, by the end of lap #2, I was feeling hungry so I had a few cookies and some coke and ran in to go to the bathroom before heading out again. The group had gotten pretty strung out along the course at this point, and many people had moved from running to relaxing inside and eating and chatting away the afternoon. That was pretty tempting, I must say, but I knew I really needed to get in another lap so off we went. I was starting to feel the effects of 10 solid miles on snowshoes, and definitely slowed down on this lap. Thankfully Emma was there to push me along! I am sure I would have been walking otherwise!!

I finished up with 16.2 miles in a moving time of 3:30, definitely a snowshoe distance PR! And let me tell you, I was whooped  :) I went right inside to get something to eat, and sat for a while and caught up with Amy, which was great - it has been too long! Ryan and Sam arrived a while later, and then it was so long relaxation, as Sam and I got suited up to go across the street for some sledding while Ryan got in a loop of his own. Sam and I did a number of repeats up the big snowmobile trail hill on the other side of King Road, and Sam had a blast sledding down. The final run was a race between Sam on the sled and Ryan on his snowshoes. Ha! Then it was back inside to sit by the fire and talk and eat with the small group who remained. Many thanks to Linda, Val and Rick for opening their homes to us and giving us an excuse to all get together to run and hang out. We had a great time - what a fun day!

Here are a few photos, blatantly taken from Facebook ;)

Beautiful blue sky and lovely snowmobile trail

Running off into the distance

Emma and I enjoying the wooded singletrack

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fun Friday

Never managed to make it out of bed this morning for a run before Ryan went to work, so no long run today, but no matter. I'll be getting in more than enough running tomorrow to make up for it, and will plan on a shorter run on Sunday too to round out the week. Plus, I probably needed the sleep anyway. Three days in a row of early wake-ups for mid-week running is pretty good for me ;)

After Ryan left for work, Sam and I headed over to Pineland Farm. We hit the market for a snack - yum! - and then went over to their educational center for the Friday on the Farm program. It was a bit cold walking in the barn and out and around to all the buildings, but otherwise it was a great morning. Next time, we'll know to wear our snowpants :) A fun morning at the farm for sure!

Pineland in the snow

Beautiful Pineland vista


Collecting eggs

The hens seemed to think the flowers on my boots were delicious :) They kept pecking at them!

Sam and the chickens

Eggs!

Why hello there

Licks from the calves!

BLIZZARD!

Hi mama

Sam's coat just tasted SO good!



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fresh Snow

More snow last night. Probably 4" or so, all nice and fluffy. I knew I was going to be out on snowshoes for my back-to-back runs tomorrow and Saturday, so I figured I would go without this morning, although honestly, I probably should have just gone out on the snowmobile trails with them. Instead, I slogged my way across the powerlines to Highland Green Road, and although the roads weren't completely plowed, it was nice to be able to at least open up my stride for a few miles and even *gasp* run one mile at just under 9:00 pace. Ha. Just went out and back on the pavement as the back dirt road hadn't been plowed at all. Nice, moderate temps and no wind, with a bit of snow still falling throughout the run. Ended up with 4.9 for the morning.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Screwshoe Runnin'

There hasn't been much good screwshoe running this winter. Not enough snow early on, and then too much. This morning I decided I would go out without my snowshoes on the powerlines and see if it was finally good screwshoe running! There has been a fair amount of traffic out there, but the snow is still amazingly soft. It just has not completed compacted; I suppose it has simply been too cold. That being said, it was decent running and I managed 6 miles out and back on the trails in a little over an hour. It was a nice morning, cold but no wind, and once again, I hardly needed my headlamp!

Looks like more snow coming tonight/tomorrow, so the trails will need more traffic if that's the case, but perhaps I'll be able to sneak one more screwshoe run in tomorrow morning before the trails need another round of packing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Early Morning Cathance Snowshoe

OK, so yesterday morning at 5:00 am it was -3 with a "feels like -20" reading. Um, yup, I was staying inside. So this morning, when the weather app was telling me it was -5 but with no wind, I thought 'Hurray! Only -5!', put on a few extra layers and decided to stick with my planned run. Man, can you tell it's been a rough winter?! Crazy.

Conditions were so lovely out in the Cathance during our hike with Sam on Sunday, I drove over there and started my run from the ecology center lot. Snowshoes on, I ran along the nicely packed trail down to the river, and wandered along the river bank. The trail was pretty well packed in most spots, with a few softer spots and drifts. The funny thing about running along the singletrack with all that snow was that I actually had to duck for a ton of branches, which typically doesn't happen! Ha.

I got back up the parking lot with the Strava app (Left my Garmin at home. Oops! Thankful I have the Strava app installed on my phone!) telling me I had run 2.4 miles, so across the street I went. The Heath has been a popular loop, apparently! There was a nice trough to run in, except that along the right side of the Heath, the wind had scoured the landscape, making cornices and drifts in the woods, obliterating the trail in many spots. Overall, things were fairly slow going (or perhaps I was taking it slow? Ryan and John certainly managed to run faster out there tonight.) and I only ended up with 3.3 miles, but it was a solid effort on my snowshoes and a nice way to start out the week of running.

Hoping the snowmobile trails will be packed enough for a decent screwshoe run tomorrow morning!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Where's the Blizzard?

Well, that blizzard that was so hyped? Yup, never happened. We got maybe an inch of snow up here. All that was left was a whole lot of wind and cold air. I must admit, I am not unhappy to have escaped with only a dusting of new snow. We have enough, honest!

In the end, despite the fact that I could have gone for a run, I stuck with the plan to hang out with Sam and Ryan all day. We had pancakes and bacon for breakfast (Sam ate four pieces of bacon!), had a morning drawing session, talked to Neenie and Pip and Morgan via Facetime, worked on some of Sam's stretches and exercises for her right leg, and then later this afternoon, suited ourselves up in all the layers and headed over to the Cathance for a snowshoe.

Yes, it was cold and it was windy, but it was also wonderfully sunny and we were walking out in the woods, mostly protected from the wind. It was lovely out there. Nicely packed snowshoe trails surrounded by deep snow, animal tracks to look at, big piles of snow atop trees and branches, the river gurgling on our left, and even some trail to break! Sam is getting increasingly stronger and more comfortable on her snowshoes and we had a lot of fun. No one else was out there and we had the trails to ourselves. We stayed out for about 1 1/4 hours and snowshoed 1.25 miles. It was a great way to end a nice day together.

Morning drawing session: Flora. Sam decided we should start with the Canada Yew.

Afternoon sunlight

Cookie break!

Relaxing on the bench which is covered in snow!

Pretty woods

Sam and Ryan snowshoeing

Long shadows

 Our return route took us back on a short stretch of trail that had not been broken out. Sam decided she would break trail for us, and when I asked her how it was, she said, "This is easy!" She is one tough cookie :)

video