Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow-sports for the incapacitated

Yes, shoeshoeing was the best option for getting outside & doing something without risking popping my shoulder again so soon.  After a much needed sleep-in Saturday morning (I spent much of the week strangely exhausted & napping after work - I blame the trauma of the shoulder incident & perhaps a couple of months of skiing a lot), Megan, Finn & I headed up the Spray Valley to the Mt Shark cross-country ski area for a little return trip to Watridge Lake.  We'd last been up here at the end of our Assiniboine hike in July, when the last few kilometres to the parking lot took an absolute age (six weeks before Finn was born [at full-term] & we'd walked 57 km in three days; I still maintain Megan was crazy, but she just pleads Australianism - perhaps they're synonymous) - it was a lot snowier this time.

It was about an hour's drive out & I was surprised so many people would be out here to go XC skiing, but it was very peaceful & beautiful.  As I was on the easy snowshoes, I was hauling Finn in the Chariot - which was pretty easy, it just meant that I couldn't go cavorting around in all the deep snow (about the only fun thing to do on snowshoes, as far as I can see) as I would've buried the Chariot.

After about forty-five minutes we reached Watridge Lake.

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To burn a little extra energy, I headed over the lake making fresh tracks to our lunch spot on the opposite shore (is it still a shore if you can't tell the difference between the snow-covered lake & the snow-covered ground?).

Lunch over & done with it was back off to the car - the snowfall picked up briefly, but mostly it was very light, sunny & warm all day.  The return trip had a surprising amount of gradual downhill that we didn't remember from the outward leg or (especially) July.  Megan gets the photo credits & I assume she took this one to voice her disgust at the lack of distance indications on the signs in this park - someone else had obviously felt the same way.

On the drive home we came across these two moose - the closest I've been to any yet on my visit.  They seemed a bit confused as to how to escape a slowly approaching car & started to run faster & faster along the road before finally diving off in to the trees.  That reminded me a little of giraffes in Nakuru National Park (Kenya) - but the giraffes were a lot bigger & able to outrun our little Vitara.

Back in town we were able to satisfy our craving for chocolate chais & finally get a game of Cities & Knights (Settlers).  By the time I walked home it was absolutely puking snow in town & I was ruing the fact I couldn't/shouldn't go skiing today.  But it eased off & it seems they got hardly any fresh snow up at the hill, so a nice Sunday at home doing odds & sods doesn't seems so bad now.

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