I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I felt while snowshoe running this morning. When I left the house I took a peek at the thermometer and saw that it was -16F. I didn't see any leaves blowing around on the trees so I didn't think there was much of a wind chill. There wasn't! Joy!
By the time I reached the trail head; only 15 miles or so north of my house the temperature had dropped to -21F per my car. I was glad that I had remembered to grab the booties for Topaz.
The trail was beautiful when the sun rose. Sparkly white frosty snow, heavily laid upon the trees and branches. Stunning. I felt like I was running through a jeweled Christmas card.
We ran for a few hours, staying warm and comfortable. I couldn't help but think that next Saturday I will be in Duluth running the snowshoe marathon. It will probably be -40F or something...
I am finding that I am able to stay warmer during my runs and even in general, when I am not running. I think it is because I have: 1) increased my lifting from 3 days to 5 days a week, 2) am making SURE that I eat every three hours and 3) am at a lower weight so am moving more quickly. By making these changes my metabolism seems to have increased. In my log book I record the temperature, what I am wearing and how I feel, especially with Northwoods coming up, I want to have the clothing perfect. I am finding that I need less clothing than I usually do at the same temperatures. Interesting.
Back to the run. As Topaz and I were finishing up, a man approached me in the lot. I saw him there last night while running and Thursday night as well. He had been snowplowing a portion of the trail for the walkers today during the Sherburne WinterFest or whatever it is. He came over and commented on the fact that I am out there quite often snowshoe running. He asked if I'd be interested in guiding some snowshoers on the trail. I explained to him that I enjoyed the solitude of the trail, the fact that were hardly any others using the trail and that I didn't want to promote use of the trail. I apologized for being selfish. I told him that I do lead a group at the Lake Maria State Park and that I would be willing to lead another for him in Sherburne County; but not on this trail. He thanked me for being honest and gave me his card.
I thought back to when I was in my early teens. Mom, Dad and I would cross country ski almost every weekend. My Dad cut down trees with a hatchet and machete as we would go bush whacking through the Laurentian Divide between Virginia and Britt. He created miles of trails for us to use each weekend, each winter. Dad would fly down the hills and more often than not, he'd break a ski tip by crashing into a tree stump. He began to carry plastic tips with him.
As the years went on we began to notice more and more people using the trails that Dad created. It made us rethink skiing those trails. We began to drive further up north on occasion, in order to get away from the others. One day as we were skiing "our" trails a group of skiers told us we were going the wrong way on the trail. That was the last straw. The wrong way?! Hello!!
I called Mom and Dad today on the way home from my run today and let them know about the man from the county. I reminded them of the skiing incident. I'm so much like my Dad. He hasn't skied that area in over 25 years now. He rather ski near our property on Lake Vermilion. Now, of course, they aren't doing any skiing as they are spending winters in Texas!
This afternoon my Lake Maria group and I snowshoed 4 miles. I had to break new trail. The snowshoe trail was being used for a demonstration so we hoofed it out into the thick woods. It was a blast. I don't mind sharing the trail and the my passion for the outdoors at this park.
It's Not In My Backyard.