Chuck and I went snowshoeing again yesterday afternoon. It was very cold (about 22 F, - 5 C) and sunny. As we have done each time, we went out back and chose a slightly different direction to explore. The picture above will give you a sense of what the area looked like. As we went up and down the bumpy terrain, we started to feel as if we had inadvertently signed up for a workout on a StairMaster! But our snowshoes allowed us to navigate it all smoothly.
When we cross country ski or snowshoe without a marked trail, Chuck often takes the lead. He’s very good at picking out a path for us. We’ll stop briefly and consult, choosing a landmark in the distance to aim for and then find the best route to it. Sometimes I take the lead, usually when I’ve spotted an opening that seems interesting, yet not too obstructed.
As we trekked up and down and up and down for the first third of our two hour outing, I was struck by how different our styles are. Chuck takes big strides, partly in keeping with his six foot one inch frame. But also because he feels confident and safe within his body. It’s the same when we are out on the rocks at Schoodic up in Maine, when he makes calculated leaps with ease. While I’m 5’9”, I do not have such a big stride. Nor do I share the same level of confidence in my own body. I approach all of these activities with more caution and more conscious thought. But I still love doing it. Partly because I love overcoming even the tiniest fear and building on every success. Mostly because it's so darn much fun! Thankfully, Chuck is never impatient with a wife who approaches the crossing of a stream or other obstacle with some trepidation. To the contrary, he is always just on the other side, encouraging me, helping me to scout the best path and always ready to lend a hand if I ask for it
It’s just beginning to flurry out. They are predicting another 8 - 12 inches of snow by noon tomorrow. I’m not sure I’ll ever match Chuck’s confidence and physical approach to these activities we both revel in. But once we get the walkways and driveway clear, chances are very good we’ll be snowshoeing out back again tomorrow, each in our own way, together and happy.