John’s Submission – Kids & Family Focus

Who inspires me to drag the family outside in the winter? Why, Mother Nature herself! And perhaps a little of the kids’ behavior, too. When the rain is coming down in sheets at our house at the base of the mountains we know just a few hundred feet above us it’s a winter wonderland.

With kids aged nine, seven, and four and a half (that half is really important), not to mention a three year old dog, snowshoeing is one of our best ways to see the beauty of nature and stave off cabin fever at the same time.

Over the last few years we’ve been lucky enough to have many adventures and introduce a bunch of our friends to snowshoeing, too.

We’ve wandered through campgrounds just off the freeway, but seemingly in the heart of the wilderness because the snow muffles the sound of plows and chained-up trucks. The ordinary picnic benches take on a magical quality when they are buried under three feet of snow.

We’ve had late-night barbecues seated on a snow bench eating Cheetos and cold hot dogs because we couldn’t find the barbecue grill under all that snow. (It seemed such a good plan until we had to build the fire on the blade of the shovel.)

Of course, we’ve participated in two Romp to Stomp events and recruited a team to join us. My girls love to flaunt their pink fairy wings and love it even more when I wind up wearing them when they want to roll in the snow. And my boy? He’s happy to ride in the home-made pulk.

Lately, our nine year older daughter has been pushing for more adventuresome outings. I fear she’s taken a liking to some of the pictures I’ve brought back from higher mountains. While I’ve convinced her we’ll need to stay off glaciers for a few more years she’s convinced me she’s ready for a snow-camp next season. I figure a new sleeping bag, a couple of bottles of hot water, and a couple (dozen) packets of hot cocoa and we might just survive.

Mostly, I love the quiet, peaceful time hearing the snow squeak beneath our feet, sharing the woods and mountaintops with my kids. We’ve had nine great years on snowshoes and I’m looking forward to a lifetime more.