Tuesday, January 17, 2017

doing hard things

I snarled along on snowshoes. In case you haven't tried it, sidehilling on snowshoes with a backpack full of overnight gear on unconsolidated snow is hard. "Why do I always do hard things on my birthday?" I whined. Granted, it wasn't my actual birthday, but that day is on a weekday. so there it was, my birthday trip, my idea. I had only myself to blame.

Honestly, I would rather have a birthday in July, because swimming in an alpine lake would be pretty much ideal. But since my parents didn't take this into consideration, I am stuck with January. Which, once I cheered up, can be pretty good. When we arrived at the backcountry shelter, I decided some more climbing would be all right.
Looking into Idaho from almost 8000 feet
The truth is, the things I consider hard would be an easy day for some of you. For other people I know, it would be impossible. I have seen some friends who have no health limitations just stop doing anything hard. That's their right. But I think when you give up, that's when things really get difficult. So I'll keep it up, snarls and all.

Wolves! Oh wait...dogs.
We spent a starry, near-full moon night in the cabin and climbed some more the next day before heading out. J likes to remind me that snowshoes don't have much reward. You climb to a high point and then you have to just hike down, unlike skiing. But I don't mind. There's something contemplative about snowshoeing in deep powdery snow.

It's so simple up there. Melt water for snow, chop wood for the stove, go to sleep when it's dark. The cabin is tiny but whenever I'm up there I think of how I could really live there. I imagine where my gear would go, and how I would stomp out a snowshoe track to run on, and how much easier things would be.

But maybe not. Who knows? It was time to descend. Another successful birthday weekend, doing hard things. May it always be so.

18 comments:

  1. At first, I thought you might have shot all these photos in black and white. Then I saw the last one and realized it was just how winter looks. I guess it just goes to show how far removed from a white winter I am these days. ;)

    Happy Birthday!! May you never give up the desire to do hard things!

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    1. Haha, the top pics are black and white! My camera setting changed somehow.

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  2. Happy Birthday! I seem to have collected a bunch of friends with January birthdays. Must mean something.

    I was told on a recent SS putting that I'd rather a free downhill ride. He was on skis. Another friend has been working on me every chance she gets to try backcountry skiing. I like snowshoeing. I use to love downhill skiing but it's over so quick. I'll stick with the thrill of powder plunging descents.

    Easy is so boring. I'm no where near ready to give up hard. I gotta keep on keeping on!

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    1. I could never have skied that terrain without a big meltdown. I'll stick with SS also.

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  3. Happy Birthday!
    I don't know what's wrong with my computer/browser. Pic 3 won't appear for me in email or blog...wierd.
    Hard is good, may we never stop challenging ourselves!

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    1. Darn it, I don't know why. It's a black and white Redmond peak photo.

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  4. May it always be so! Love the photo of the dogs with moon shadows from the trees.

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    1. It was supposed to be color, but I kind of like it.

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  5. Skiers will never understand why gravity sports aren't for everyone. What's the reward of snowshoeing? (Mostly) terror-free descents!

    I used to be a snowboarder as well, so I do understand the other side.

    Happy birthday!

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    1. Yes, I like the terror free these days. This is pretty steep so there were a few moments!

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  6. Happy B-day! I too have a winter B-day and love it because I get to go skiing! I'd be right there with J (love your photo of him dropping into a turn). Good for you for not slacking off - keep it up! You're an inspiration to me.

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  7. Happy birthday from the summer heat of down under! I'd love to be out their celebrating with you. I've skied but never snow shoed.
    Your black and white mistakes are perfect.

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    1. Probably hard to find snow there. Enjoy the summer....unless it's too hot.

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  8. Hi Mary, how goes it? I sure know what you're talking about when it comes to snowshoes. I've spent many of my 69 years on them. I really like this blog, you mention things I really enjoy. My remote cabin is small but, I enjoy it a lot. Fire in the woodstove, drinking hot coffee, watching a soft or heavy snow coming down or a starry night, animals walking past. It doesn't get much better than that. Oh yeah, Happy Birthday.

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    1. Thanks, John. I agree, I wish I had a remote cabin like yours!

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  9. Don't hate me for this, but my birthday is in early May, when (where I live at least) the entire world is bursting with flowers.

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  10. Happy Birthday friend! You always make the best out of things. Glad you got to SS and enjoy a little piece of your heaven. I can picture you living in a little cabin on top of the world.The pics accidently done in black and white are beautiful. They put a new perspective on your world of adventure. Sometimes color distracts. With black and white your eyes are more drawn to the objects and landscape.
    My birthday as you know is just ending Summer. It usually contains crisp Fall morning air, with warm sunny afternoons. I love that about my birthday month. Fall colors are just stating to pop as well. My best birthday present is being out in nature. Add some chocolate raspberry cupcakes secretly hiked in by such a lovely friend and that is as some would say "icing on the cake."

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