Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snowshoeing with the Little One.

Winter can be tough here in Canada. It's often cold, snowy and overcast. So when a gloriously sunny and mild day comes along you take advantage of it. You have to, otherwise you may insult Mother Nature and she'll never give you another one.

Saturday was the perfect day. There was plenty of snow on the ground, no wind and the temperature a mild 43F. The snowshoes were calling our name.

TC and I called our good friends, Carla and Tyler, to see if they were up for a walk in the woods. We've done this plenty of times before, but this was going to be the first snowshoeing expedition with their one year old daughter, Gwen. 

It sounded easy enough. Suit Gwen up in her bright pink snowsuit, sit her in the sled and pull her along flat terrain. No problem.

Tiiiiiimber. No less than five steps in, she toppled to the side and took a face full of snow. She was a trooper. No crying, no flailing. 

She patiently waited for Carla too set her back up and wipe the snow from her face. So, we set off again.

This time we thought it best to have a big strong man behind her, just in case she toppled again.

And sure enough we made it another five steps before TC had to catch her fall.

Before you start thinking that this is child abuse, please envision me yelling "Man down!" and all of us getting a good laugh. It wasn't tragic at all, just hilarious because Gwen was completely unfazed by her repeated tumbles into the snow.

The quick thinking poppa that he is, Tyler decided that we needed ropes on the back of the sled to help with the balance. We didn't have any spare rope, but I did happen to have two dog leashes in my backpack. They would do the trick, we thought.

This way, someone could pull the sled in front and Tyler could adjust from the back when she hit a bump, almost like a dog sled or horse reigns.

We cruised along quite well once we had the sled under control.  Gwen seemed quite content while she rode in style and the four dogs were happily leaping through the snow and thoroughly wearing themselves out.

We came to a clearing and stopped for a rest. Maple found a stick, while Hobie and I dug into the thermos of coffee and Baileys.

Past her snack and nap time, Gwen was ready for a cookie. But those silly snowsuits bundle you up so tight you can barely move. Just like TC has to help me into my snowshoes, Carla had to help Gwen with her snack. Arms just don't bend well in pretty, fluffy snowsuits. 

Thank goodness for mommies that love their babies.

After a little more leaping in the snow, we decided to head back.

This time, with an empty sled.

Someone has her dad wrapped around her little finger already.

Rocking the Uggs and swindling her dad, she's a girl after my own heart.

The trick to surviving winter in the tundra is to embrace it. Now, that's easier said than done, but this weekend was a good start for the season. Right now the forecast is looking good for next weekend too so hopefully we'll find more outdoor adventures and keep checking things off my bucket list. 

Two down, seven to go. It shouldn't be a problem, seeing as I've got the greatest and most adventurous group of friends ever.

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