Sunday, October 25, 2020

What I did last summer

 Last weekend, before the severe cold snap with single digits and snow arrived, I hiked the two dogs up the access road to Mount Howard. This route is my fitness barometer---if I feel terrible slogging up the 4000 feet of elevation, then I know I need more exercise, less brownies, and more sleep. If I bound right up there, then I am doing all right. This time I felt somewhere in between. We easily gained the summit to a piercing breeze, too cold to stop and snack. With a perfunctory glance at the mountains, it was time to head down. 

A thick blanket of snow lay over the high mountain lakes, and I felt sad for the passing of another summer. Though 2020 has been awful and people have suffered. my enforced Covid stay at home summer meant that I hiked to places in my home range that I never thought I would reach. Without work travel twice a month, I was able to spend more time camping and less time in airports. The lure of the long distance trails was strong, but I didn't want to become part of the vacationing problem, at least until I could figure out how to do it safely. So I have only been out of the county once since February. This has been less hard than I imagined it would be.

This weekend, with the intense cold, I didn't venture too far into the mountains. I went for my first run, though not my last, in full-on winter gear: warm tights, a buff, and mittens. It felt invigorating and good, but I know by February I'll be sort of over it. 

I need a new winter sport, just like I took up paddleboarding last summer. It can't be something to do with speed. Just something to make staying at home through the cold winter months a bit more palatable. Suggestions?

Spruce is living his best life.



16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Obviously! Though I'll need to exercise more then...

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  2. XC or skate skiing seems like it would fit the bill?? I'm going to miss jogging this winter. It was such a perfect winter option for me. Guess I'll spend more time cycling. BTW 4000 is so awesome! I need a similar barameter.

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    Replies
    1. You know, I was thinking about skate skiing. It is a great workout. I bet you could swim too, with a pool buoy and using your arms. If a pool is open that is.

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    2. Swimming would be great but I'd need to join a gym with a heated pool.

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  3. I love Spruce 'living his best life'!
    Good luck finding that special winter activity.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It is strange to think of you heading into summer!

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  4. Sounds like you're already doing all the winter sports! :) But, as someone above suggested, skate skiing might be fun. I've thought of trying it myself, because I'm a pretty good skate skier on downhill skis.

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    Replies
    1. I bet you'd be good at it! I'm mostly afraid of falling.

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  5. Replies
    1. Yes! I have skates. Hopefully the lake will freeze this year!

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  6. A fat bike, obviously. ;)

    But honestly, even I am sort of dreading this winter because we'll most likely be stuck at home. No Alaska, no visiting family, no races to look forward to (I'm signed up for one but not optimistic.) I really miss travel, too.

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  7. I love your barometer mountain! I had found a mountain like that and was excited (I called it my challenge mountain) and the state park it was in rerouted and made it easier. Hmmmm.

    I vote the fat bike out of all of the above suggestions!

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  8. Hi Mary, quite a few years ago, I took up snowboarding and am still doing it. It is so much fun. I may try ice skating again although, it has been a long time for me. I like the name "SPRUCE" you gave your dog. When I had my Siberian, I named him KAYAK, I do miss him a lot. Anyway, have fun.

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