Tag Archives: hiking

Snow

Do you ever think you forgot to pack your running gear because that was what you were supposed to do?

Mežotne is a home nuzzled between tree coated hills. At the present, both the trees and the hills are hooded with snow.

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I may not have had running gear but I was armed with hiking boots, water proof gear, and my iPhone camera. I said, “Let’s go hike. We don’t even have to leave the back yard.”

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People don’t understand why I like snow so much. I don’t understand why they don’t want to view the world under a whole new setting.

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Although, at this point, I was wondering why I kept choosing to climb the hills.

It was a thrilling day in the beauty wood.

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Filed under exercise, Michigan, snow

One Week

One luminous January day, I was overdressed and perspiring within 1/2 mile of starting an excursion. Truth be told, if it had been a normal Saturday in January, I would have been struggling to keep frost from building up on my eye lashes rather than struggling to cool down after making a last minute decision to put on a light jacket. My two companions, on bikes, were fairing much better in just jeans and sweatshirts. I, on the other hand, had pulled crazy snowflake (hopeful thinking) socks overtop tech running tights then slipped them into Merrell Pace Gloves. On top, I had two (many) layers of shirts and a jacket, hot pink, ironically. The only thing I got right was my lack of head gear allowing my head to breathe.

Did I mention it was Saturday? The three of us were headed into town to drop a package at the post office, stop in for smoothies at Jazy’s Java then pick up a handful of candy at the candy store (otherwise known to adults as the party or liquor store) before running/biking home for lunch.

One week later the situation was as turned around as a contestant in Pin The Trail On The Donkey. Snow was lightly falling upon seven inches of powder that had accumulated the day before. I was trudging up a hill of untouched snow on the edge of a rolling soybean field. This time, my companions had replaced their bikes for antique snowmobiles and were driving them in gigantic circles at the center of the same soy bean field. On this cold and blustery Saturday, a pair of Rocky Gear hunting boots rated for forty below zero encased my snowflake socks. A fire engine red Columbia jacket and a pair of waterproof bib overhauls replaced the tech tights and hot pink jacket to protect my body from blowing snow. A ten pound, black and white striped helmet securely rested on my head with the face shield raised open. A mask protected the lower half of my face and neck from the arctic breeze. I was hiking the edge of the field as something to do while the boys practiced driving the sleds. Even then, I was sweating.

One week. A different world. The same person.

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Photo by Arnis Kengis

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Filed under Michigan, minimalist shoes, running, snow

No Regard For Dignity

As I mentioned in my sleeping post, we defied the weather forecast last Saturday by going camping at the K3 state park with our Cub Scout pack. With so many eager learners and helpers our camp was hoisted in record time. The scouts and their siblings were running around the area. Although the camping area was plentiful, we agreed that a hike might burn off some of the youthful energy.

Our hike traversed the two track converted into a bike path nicely lined with a multitude of foliage. Sure, adults lose some ability for imaginative play as we grow older. In exchange, we know how to stop and smell the tree leaves. That youthful energy quickly grew tired of observing the differences between trees. Their faces said, “Dude, they’re just green leaves.”

Fortunately, I have little regard for maintaining my dignity. The kids and I skipped, ran backward, side-stepped, laughed, walked with high knees, galloped, raced, grew breathless and smiled. We let loose and had some fun with it.

I’m not dismissing the retrospective nature walk. I like a good dendrology lesson as much as the next corn based, plastic soled, shoe wearer. It’s just that sometimes it’s fun to dismiss your dignity. You’ve got to live smiley and sometimes being silly helps accomplish that.

We went on that night to tell scary stories by the campfire that night. I, on the other hand, faced the scariest story right there on that two-track. One mom was telling another mom that her Shape-Ups really work. SCCCCCCRRREEEEAAAAMMM!

I’m not going to argue whether those shoes work or not. I don’t have any scientific evidence to back my opinion. I do like this article, Can Shoes Really Tone the Body? By Gretchen Reynolds from The NewYork Times. And, I have to agree with the FTC’s move to fine Reebok for making claims without scientific evidence. I have my own personal concerns after living 35+ years in various shoes that altered my center of gravity and forced my feet into unnatural positions. I admit, I used to love high heels. I gave up on them when I started to develop bunions. I also had life long issues with pointed toe shoes. Don’t give me that look. Even my penny-loafers of my high school years pushed my big toe inward. Consequently, I have concerns regarding toning shoes. I really don’t see how these strangely shaped soles can be good for you to wear all day, day in and day out.

Sorry, I got side tracked and ended up on a soap box just to tell you that after the Shape-Ups statements, I declared my love for barefooting and took my shoes off to race the boys on that gravel covered two-track. Imagine, I’m wearing jeans and a sweatshirt over a long sleeve t-shirt under my Class B uniform T-shirt while carrying my New Balance Minimus in my hand. Again, its useful that I have no regard for dignity. With that much clothing on, I got hot within a quarter mile. My feet begged to go farther but it was going to be another twenty-four hours before I’d see a shower so I wasn’t willing to stink up the tent for that nights sleeping. See, it was about odor issues not lack of dignity in becoming a sweaty mess.

In the end, our mission was accomplished. The youthful energy tanks were half empty just in time for the S’mores.

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Filed under Barefoot, minimalist shoes, personality flaws