Making Hay

 

As disappointed as I have been with this inconsistent winter, when a day like today rolls around and drops 6-8” (and reports of 10” in some places) of fresh new snow I wasn’t going to waste it. I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking here, but it was an awesome day.

I started the morning out by heading on my bike after church. I may have jumped the gun a little bit, but I couldn’t help myself. The fresh snow was just too inviting to take a peaceful ride in (no earphones). What I found out was that the snow was deeper than I had anticipated and the workout was significantly more vigorous as a result. I still was smiling (for the most part) as I slipped, grunted, and plowed my way out to Lake Macatwa near the Ottawa Beach overflow campground (picture). I wound my way back home on some lower traffic roads just to get off the bike path for a breather.

In the afternoon I took Paige over to my in-law’s house to go snowshoeing with my mother-in-law. Their subdivision is only about 1/3rd developed and one of the lots is adjacent to the Port Sheldon Natural Area which is part of the Ottawa County Parks and Open Space Lands. It’s a great place to snowshoe, hike, and cross country ski (http://www.co.ottawa.mi.us/ParksVI/Parks/portsheldon.htm ). It is one of the few parks left that you can take your dogs to and let them roam freely. There were several people out enjoying the late afternoon sunshine and snow.

Finally, when you get snow like today, you can’t avoid the drive way. So, I wrapped up with a quick clearing and headed in for a warm shower and a cup of coffee. What a great day.

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Over the Hill and Through the Woods……

Lest you think I’m all about biking, I took a stroll on Sunday with my father-in-law’s snow shoes. My in-laws live a bit north of Holland on a wooded lot in an area full of medium sized pine trees, young sassafras trees, and small rolling dunes. We were visiting for lunch and arrived an hour early to let the kids play outside for a while before we ate. I took that opportunity to explore with them on the snow shoes.

My oldest daughter received a pair of Tubbs snowshoes for Christmas last year and loved snowshoeing with Nana (my mother-in-law). I thought it would be a fun thing to do with the girls and help keep them excited about being outside so I put them on my Christmas list. Well, borrowing a pair works, too I guess. I slapped on my father-in-law’s snow shoes and headed out to the back yard to explore the woods.

The experience was better than I had hoped. Me and my new extra large feet led the girls into the trees up small hills, over small shrubs, and under tree branches. At first the girls were a bit hesitant to follow me as the branches were full of snow and the woods were a bit scary. But soon my oldest found that you could hide under the pine trees because the snow was so thick and still stuck to their branches. I could also whack the trees and drop bundles of fresh fluffy snow on her causing her to squeal with joy.  When I went to retrieve a sled that they wanted, my oldest went exploring and found deer tracks left the night before. She was really excited and was convinced that she had heard this ‘moose’ a bit earlier while I was gone.

From there I was no longer the leader and my new explorer was leading us through neighbor’s back yards and under tree branches that only a 6 and 3 year old could climb under. After what seemed like about 10 minutes but was really 45, I led the girls through the 40 feet of woods to the private road and pulled them back to the house on their sled. They ate well and were tired, but seemed to have all kinds of stories about what they found in the woods. And I thought the stew never tasted so good.

Fortunately, my father-in-law is not going to be using his snowshoes for a while so I took them home to borrow. I look forward to the next time I can head out to the woods and would highly recommend securing a pair for yourself.