First steps of Embarrassment?

-Eliza P

Trail Walking Ambassador


I was cautious as I took my first steps, not wanting to trip and fall to a cold, embarrassing doom in the snow. After a few minutes, however, I gradually got used to the large attachments on my feet.  My careful steps turned into confident strides and with each stride I felt more empowered and free.

The past few weeks I had spent most of my time inside, avoiding the below zero temperatures and smoggy skies. The pollution had settled in the valley creating a dreary haze that made it difficult to breathe. I felt confined to the indoors, but I longed to be outside. As a college student, I was constantly studying. My only form of exercise, when I found the time, was running on a treadmill. I knew that I needed something more.  Snowshoeing seemed like the perfect solution to be active and outside and get away from the smog.

So I left everything behind and headed up the canyon. The sky became clearer and clearer the further up we drove. It seemed like months since I had seen the sun shining. Finally, we reached the trailhead and I took my first breath of fresh, mountain air.  We began our journey up the trail, with my seasoned snowshoeing sister and her husband leading, and my husband and I following behind.

The trail was breathtaking. The same sights I had seen hundreds of times during warmer months were now covered in layers of glimmering snow. I was in awe of the contrast between the dark pines, blue sky, and bright snow. I had always admired the snow-covered mountains from a distance, but had never experienced them up close. At one overlook along the trail, I noticed what looked like a lake of smog covering the valley. With this view from above, I knew that a snowshoeing trip was exactly what I needed.

I managed not to trip or stumble over my snowshoes the whole time, and enjoyed the challenge of navigating through the snow. The trail was well worn and we often passed other friendly people on our way. I witnessed a community of snowshoers that I wanted to be a part of, who were enjoying a side of winter I had been blind to. As we drove back down the canyon, I knew that I would be back in the mountains, snowshoeing again soon.