Today I did one of my favorite winter adventures.
I strapped on my backcountry skis, skied out my backyard and onto the side of the freshly groomed cross country ski tracks to a lovely little spot where I like to enter Lake Fanny Hooe.
It's winter, of course, so I wasn't going to swim across. I was going to ski across!
Now, pardon me for not being so careful. I know this lake has been frozen for at least a month. When I got to the shore, I looked for other signs of tracks but saw none. I scraped the snow down to the ice with my mitten and gave it a few good punches.
Seemed fine to me!
Other side, here I come!!!
Behind my head is the East end of Lake Fanny Hooe. I was facing toward Brockway Mountain.
There's just something very soothing to me when I am on this lake in the winter. I am quite drawn to her.
The shimmy across was lovely with no wildlife to speak of or falling through. I did, however, recall what I should do if I were to fall through the ice.
Arms out like an airplane!!!
And kick back up!
When I got to the other side, I took a picture for you.
See? I made it!
Then, for some reason, my favorite thing to do is climb up the ridge toward Manganese Road. I really don't know why, it's just a draw. But I thought, "Oh, Amanda. That's silly! You didn't bring your poles!"
I am stubborn, and I don't like poles.
But I had skins on my skis and live trees to pull myself up with, so I tried!
One of the interesting parts about climbing straight up a ridge in the snow is... how hot you get in such a short distance. That gravity. It really makes you work for it!
I found plenty of live trees to pull myself up with (I mean, really! Who needs poles?). Yes, I was panting, but I was ascending! 3/4 of the way up, I saw these icicles hanging from a moss covered rock. I took a picture for you.
Greenery is always so enchanting in the winter. So are icicles.
From that point, I had to get over the giant rock that moss was growing on. It looked like I had three options: Left, right or straight over.
Naturally, I tried going straight over. I had a couple trees for leverage, and I dug in with my knees since the rock was taller than I could swing my ski-adorned feet with. I made it up with each knee in... but... there was no way I could propel myself forward. I tried! But, no.
As I retreated my way down the slope, I lost some ground. Shoot! I decided to go left. I looked at it and looked at it and thought and thought.
Then I decided to go right.
One of my skis was already in position to go backwards to the right, so I thought I'd try it.
Nope. Not a chance.
I found a lucky tree root as a handle right on the face of the rock, tested its strength, leaned all my weight on it and pulled myself around facing forward. Woohoo!
But then, well, then I had nowhere else to go without slipping down.
I started to think it would be impossible to get over that rock and up to the road. But I don't like to admit that things are impossible, so I thought a little harder.
I heard snowmobiles go by right above my head because that road is the snowmobile trail in the winter.
Then I realized, "You know, it's pretty peaceful to go back the way I came." So I did.
It was all weeeee and ooooof and weeeee down the side of the ridge. Okay, poles might have been nice down that part. I'll admit it.
I traversed the lake again, feeling joyous in my journey.
On the other shore, I sat under an old pine tree and ate an orange while listening to the chickadees talk to each other. It was lovely.
I skied the side of the tracks home and took off my sweaty jacket.
So what if I didn't make it over that ridge? I tried. I had a wonderful time. And I made it home alive!
Be good to yourself!