I was just telling my friend Amy I only blog right after New Year’s Day, and maybe 6 months after that if you’re lucky. Whatever, I never feel like I have anything worthy to blog about .
I should mention I am friends with my direct manager on Facebook, and you know this will be shared via Facebook, so Erin if you read this – can I work from home on Friday? Leave a comment or share this post if it’s okay (I’m shameless).
Today, I’d like to write about our very first WINTER outdoor adventure — snowshoeing at Brainard Lake Recreation Area in Ward, Co. Richard and I moved to Colorado with dreams of being these cool, badass, active people who climb mountains, squeeze pups at every opportunity, and live life to the max. We moved here in August and so far I couldn’t have asked for a better start to our new life. We are both enjoying our day jobs, have a big new house (that we occupy 10% of – natch) and try to spend our weekends doing things we weren’t able to in Michigan (traded the great restaurants of Ann Arbor for being close to the Rocky Mountains).
Winter in Colorado has been a breeze – I’m Canadian, we lived in Michigan, Richard was based at Ft Wainwright in Alaska – we are not scared of snow – but for some reason have never took up a winter activity together. Winters in Michigan meant wood burning fires, freezing in our poorly insulated home, and never seeing the light of day. Winters in Colorado? The possibilities seem endless.
We were considering buying snowshoes but went the practical route and rented from REI – $24 + an extra $9 for trekking poles (each). A quick search of local snowshoeing trails near Boulder lead us to Brainard Recreation Area which is free to visit in the winter. We drove 45 minutes east of Boulder, up to a whopping 10,000 feet, strapped on our snowshoes (Richard strapped mine on for me because I am incapable of such things), and off we went!
Before we hit the trails we briefly consulted the map and decided on our route – an easy 4 mile look that would take us to Brainard Lake. We didn’t want to go TOO hard on our first snowshoeing adventure, right? After about an hour of some strenuous snowshoeing, Richard stopped to say “I don’t think we’re on a trail.” Um, excuse me? Wut? We had been following the snowshoe footprints ahead of us that looked fresh but now that he mentioned it, it didn’t seem right for me to be LITERALLY snowshoeing through trees.
Thankfully our rogue trail linked up with a real trail so our boys wouldn’t be orphans after our first snowshoeing trail. We added about 90 minutes to our trip with this fun little detour through the woods and trees – total amateurs!
The real trail was wide, well groomed, and didn’t require us to squeeze through tree branches. We plodded along on the “Waldrop Trail” enjoying the silence of the mountains interrupted with the MASSIVE crunch of our snowshoes hitting the ground. Any moose I hoped to see knew we were coming from miles away and promptly took off to wherever they hang out.
We trekked a total of 6 miles over 4 hours. One of my favourite moments was meeting the trail pup! Snowshoeing was no joke and we are total dumb-dumbs for not stretching beforehand. My muscles were on FIRE by the time we reached Brainaird Lake but it was so worth it. This view would be absolutely amazing with a clear sky – we hope to visit again on a sunny day.
Big thank you to Richard who didn’t tell me he wasn’t feeling well until we were halfway through our hike. He knew how badly I wanted to get outside this weekend and we planned to snowshoe on Monday since we both had it off… He knew I’d be a total grump/turd if he didn’t want to go (Yeah, I’m a brat) so he didn’t say anything and made sure I had a fantastic weekend to kick off 2017. What a guy.
Thanks to the 3 dudes we came across on the trail who took our picture – it’s a keeper.