I began a great adventure four years ago when I was given the opportunity to write my own outdoor column. One of those first columns was written about a February snowshoeing event that I held for several of my friends to come out and discover the joy of the sport. Who would have known that four years later we would still be at it and to have grown from a dozen fun-loving women to more than two dozen.
We now have women from as far away as Greenville, Skowhegan, Poland, Lewiston, and Auburn enjoying the outing. And, we still have all the locals, too.
Over the last few years we’ve enjoyed beautiful snowstorms together, tasty food, great time of fellowship and last year I introduced a pinata to the fun, so this year we had to have something just as enjoyable.
Our group recently spent the afternoon exploring the hills of East Bethel while breaking trail from that big snowstorm we got. That was a killer, my gosh, I’m so happy to have had strong women to come forward to lead the pack.
As one of us would get tired trudging through the knee-high snow, we would take a break and someone else would take over. When I asked those in the back how they were faring, they had smiles of enjoyment on their faces and said they were doing great. Little did I realize that by the time the rest of us had gone ahead, the trail was a hardened runway that resembled a snowblower’s path. No wonder they were smiling and didn’t have sweat pouring off them.
After 3.5 miles of recreating in the woods, we all headed in to enjoy a nice potluck meal provided by our group.
Did I mention that we had four women who were unable to snowshoe and were designated kitchen queens? While we were out enjoying the fresh air, those four were pampered with relaxing massage provided by my friends Donna Gifford and Rebecca Diaz of Mountain View Massage. Needless to say, there was a very relaxed atmosphere when we re-entered my house seeking food and drink.
With my request of making healthier items, we enjoyed several culinary delights like turkey chili, taco soup, scrumptious green salads, vegetable trays, fruit-filled desserts, and okay, we did have whoopie pies and cheesecake for desserts. Come on, you didn’t expect no sweets at all, did you? Everything was delicious.
When everyone had their fill and were in need of movement after indulging in some wonderfully tasty foods and drink, went back out for some fun in the dark.
Now, I’m not sure I mentioned that I had two friends who really wanted to get out for a couple miles that morning, but couldn’t make the event, so I was all for going out with them. We trudged through a 2.5-mile loop and I broke a snowshoe in the deep snow. So, for about a mile back to my house I was on one snowshoe. Needless to say, it was a workout.
This winter has been crazy with the temperatures dipping below zero for more days than we can all stand, but when you enjoy the outdoors as much as me and my friends do, nothing stops you from bundling up and enduring. Fortunately, this day was nice, with the mercury hovering just above freezing.
So, by the time we were ready to go back out after dark in the light snow that was falling, my body was screaming that it had enough. We ventured about a mile through the woods and decided to let the kitchen queens get in on the fun of the night. We decided to set up our three-legged snowshoe race in my driveway.
This wasn’t just any ordinary three-legged race, these ladies had to hold a rubber ball between them with small plastic spatulas without dropping it. If they fell or dropped it, they had to go back to the starting line. My dogs thought this was great, as each time the ball was dropped they had a turn to retrieve it.
We challenged for the best of three heats, all the while laughing and enjoying the last of our time together in the snow. What fun it really is to gather friends and convince them to play games that are normally reserved for the children of the family.
It’s at times like this that my mother-in-law’s words come back to me. She always used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, but before I could answer, she would always tell me, “You don’t have to decide now. If you live life to enjoy it, you won’t ever grow up. I’m much older than you and I still haven’t decided, so I guess I just won’t grow up.”
Cheers to never growing up, to enjoying life, to surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh and remind you to live and love fully. Thank you to all the women who continue to enrich my life with your knowledge, your fun-loving spirit and openness to go outside and play.
If you have a group of women who are enjoying life while incorporating the outdoors, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call, 364.7893, I would enjoy meeting your group and highlighting you in CC’s Outdoor Journal.