Monday, January 9, 2012

1, 2, 3...Hike!
I thought I'd be spending Sunday watching centers hike the ball to quarterbacks for the 2nd day of the NFL Wild Card Weekend.  Instead, Princess Sassy and Prince Steadfast said they were taking Hubby and I on a surprise double date.

While the other kids watched the footballs being hiked on TV at home, we were doing hiking of our own... Actually, snowshoeing, but I am quite sure there was no one yelling "Snow shoe" on the football games, so I had to stretch the relationship a bit for blogging purposes.

After a snowshoeing outing of their own on New Year's Eve day, they were excited for us to try.  We went to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park.  
It's a breathtakingly beautiful spot above Port Angeles, WA, to which we hadn't been since a summer hike when we had only 5 kids, aged 4 months, and 2, 4, 7, and 8 years old.

After an hour and a half or so ride, we arrived at the parking lot, and then spent another half hour or so suiting up.  A few layers of clothes under waterproof coats and ski pants, plus gaiters (to cover the area where pants met boots), the boots, gloves, poles, hats, and, of course, the snow shoes... Which looked nothing like the tennis-raquet-looking devices I'd seen in old movies.  

The prince outfitted his
mother-in-law with boots
and gaiters
I felt somewhat like a 4 year old as the kids dressed me, 
Princess Sassy fastened my snow shoes
and cinched equipment firmly.
So nicely attended to, I was the first one ready

Everyone's ready
Icy cold winds made it through even our multiple layers, but as we got away from the face of the hill, we were sheltered from winds and it was pretty pleasant.  

I was leery, noticing that we were going downhill a lot, meaning there'd be an uphill climb to face later.  Uphill efforts came sooner than I thought as the terrain changed.                                                                                                                                          

I got a bit grouchy as I tired and struggled, my heart beating miles a minute, and getting almost too warm inside all my gear.  
But a few stops to rest helped, and I remembered how the trainers on the TV show, Biggest Loser, made 300-pound, sedentary folks run a mile on the first day, figuring if their burdened hearts could take the stress, mine sure ought to.  

We soon stopped for an amazing lunch the kids prepared... Sandwiches of grainy bread filled with meat, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, and cucumber, plus treats like sesame sticks and toffee coated peanuts.  

It also helped that we overlooked an amazing view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and saw Vancouver Island in Canada and the Cascade Mountain range to the east.

Sun going down, and the car was, by then, a welcome sight

By the time we finished lunch, it was nearing 4 PM, and we had only a little time before it would start to darken and the slushy roads would turn to dangerous ice.  So we trekked for a another 20 minutes or so, then headed for the car.  It was nice to be rid of several pounds of gear, and Prince Steadfast drove us carefully and slowly down the icy mountain road as dusk settled around us.
We ended the day with a tasty dinner and friendly service at Voodiez in Poulsbo, where we got to see highlights of the football games we missed, including the talented Tim Tebow's amazing plays, sending the Steelers packing back to Pittsburgh.  (I'm sorry for the Steelers fans, but when a truly moral young man from another big, Christian, homeschooling family is doing so well, I am happy to celebrate with him.)

Snowshoeing is a fun endeavor, and for at least for that day, I hit my 2012 goal to get off my rear and do some weight-bearing exercise!  Like biking, cross-country skiing, and even walking, I do think that snowshoeing be done on flat or gently rolling terrain... ;-)

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