Believe it or not, the end of summer is quickly approaching. Don’t get us wrong, we love the summer months as a time to get out and enjoy snowless activities (yes, the Tubbs crew enjoy other active endeavors!), but the end of the warm months leave a lot of us wishing for an early snow. As the weather starts to shift, we start to think about the upcoming winter and what we want to achieve; what trips to take, what things we want to see, what skills we want to sharpen or learn new.
Thinking out these goals and plans can be a little overwhelming. Maybe you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration to get out, or start, snowshoeing. Look no further. We asked our Tubbs Ambassadors what first inspired them to start snowshoeing, or what keeps them going when things get tough and the warmth of home calls. Read on, be inspired, share their stories, and share YOUR stories with us #tubbssnowshoes or @tubbssnowshoes.
Jen, Kids/Family Ambassador
On her first snowshoe experience: I was not an outdoorsy kid growing up. I played sports, but hiking and such were not on my radar until my 20’s. Discovering snowshoeing took even longer. It wasn’t until the kids in the Outdoor Adventure Club I started asked me to take them snowshoeing that I first gave it a try.
Don’t get me wrong – I had wanted to snowshoe for years, but I was hesitant to spend the money to buy snowshoes only to find out it wasn’t the sport for me. Was I ever wrong – I should have gotten my first pair of Tubbs a decade before I did! I have the adventurous teens in my life to thank fort the discovery of what is now my favorite winter activity.
On what inspires Jen to keep snowshoeing: Living in New England, snow is inevitable. Staying in during the winter is not really an option. As much as I enjoy a cozy day by the gas logs, knowing the beauty that awaits in the quiet stillness after a storm motivates me to get outdoors with my Tubbs. It’s such a different experience to see the trees coated in snow, lakes and streams iced over, and the tracks of animals embedded in the freshly fallen powder. I can’t get enough!
John S., Kids/Family Ambassador
There’s a hushed peace in the wilderness when it’s deep fresh snow. Even with kids and dogs who are, by their nature, chaotic and noisy, it’s always quiet when snowshoeing.
Kim, Day Hiking Ambassador
Being born and raised in Northern Michigan, we have come to realize that you must embrace the winter since it is winter more months than it is not in Northern Michigan. That being said, the outdoors and photography have always been a great passion of mine. Getting outdoors and exploring and experiencing the outdoors, the woods, the landscape and photographing its beauty and sharing it with others so that they may also learn to embrace the winter in Northern Michigan drives me to strap on my snowshoes and get outdoors. I find that each and every time that I do it allows that passion to continue to grow. Now, I am that person that when a snowstorm is moving in, I get really excited to have my opportunity to get outdoors to experience the fresh fallen snow and to see how it changed the landscape in ways that feel almost enchanted and magical. I am giddy with excitement to get out and to photograph and share my photos with family and friends in hopes that it will inspire them to get off the couch and get outdoors to enjoy our beautiful “Pure Michigan” winter wonderland too.
Susie, Day Hiking Ambassador
It’s the wonder…
A breathtaking vantage point shared with a friend, a bite of dark chocolate to celebrate communion with each other and the beauty that surrounds or that quick moment a bird lands on your ski pole; seriously!!! Does it get any better?
Tim, Backcountry Ambassador
Winter is the most pristine season in the Midwest, primarily because so many focus on spring, summer, and fall activities. So I love stuffing my pack with winter gear, strapping on the snowshoes and finding virgin territory where I make the first and only human tracks.
There is nothing better than generating your own heat hiking in, setting up your tent on a soft bed of powder and breaking out the cheese and crackers overlooking the sun, shimmering across the silent, white woodlands. And at night star gazing, with the sound of wolves in the distance, where you are sure if you could jump just one foot higher, you’d touch one!
If you haven’t experienced a true winter, you must go! It is nothing short of majestic!
Kathy, Day Hiking Ambassador
I have Usher Syndrome. It is a genetic condition that causes progressive hearing and vision loss. I can no longer drive, so I LOVE to walk and hiking/backpacking/snowshoeing is my “thing”!
The outdoors is where I forget my disabilities and feel most at ease. I don’t have to worry about bumping into people, walls, etc. or not responding to words I didn’t hear said. There aren’t any loud noises to drown out the sounds of nature. I feel “normal” and count my blessings.
That’s not to say, hiking and showshoeing doesn’t have its obstacles-literally! I always hike and snowshoe with others, usually my husband, son, and daughter-in-law. They are my helpers-“Mom, tree root on the left”, “Honey, hang left, sharp drop-off on the right”. In turn, I think I “help” them by initiating frequent stops to look around as I have to spend more of my hiking time looking down.
I happen to be one of those “lucky” ones who prefer winter to summer treks so snowshoeing is my favorite outdoor activity. And since I know my sightseeing days may be limited, I enthusiastically embrace every day I can spend on showshoes enjoying the beauty of the snow. Bring on the freezing temperatures and snow!
Sheila, Day Hiking Ambassador
In summer, our woods and mountains are lush with the various degrees of green, making the trails a cooling, shady, and sometimes rainy way to get out into nature and breathe…yes, breathe. Inspiration means the taking in of air, and for me, heading out for a hike, with my dog as my companions, has always been a way to feel invigorated and refreshed, while taking in the mind-clearing mountain air.
Our verdant trails become crunchy, and a bit barren, though illuminated with vibrant colors each fall. Clad in our hunter orange safety gear, I begin to see seasonal views, rock formations previously hidden by leafy trees, and feel, and see, the coolness of the frosty air I breathe on early morning hikes. The buggy, muggy, and sweaty hikes of the summer are behind me, making autumn a favorite time to get out with my dog. The ski area folks begin to get antsy, “guestimating” when the first measurable snow will fall. I also greatly anticipate that first snowfall; I no longer participate in alpine skiing, but am no less anxious for the first good dump of powder! Snowshoeing, with its access to hidden trails and peaceful winter scenes, is now my favorite winter recreational pursuit.
Snowshoeing permits me to see our summer trails in a different light…that light may show me colors that consist mainly of white, greys, and browns, but it is no less beautiful or amazing than in summer. The roaring brooks and waterfalls the dog and I splashed in during the summer become frozen curtains that expand and grow as the winter progresses. The experience of hitting such a snowy trail inspires me to get out and go, at least 5 days a week. I head out in pretty much all conditions, since we have the gear and apparel that permits me to keep warm and safe on the trails. My dog thinks snowshoeing is the best! He plows through deep snow, negotiates icy and snowy scrambles, and appreciates taking a break in a Long Trail shelter as much as I do. I am fortunate to live in an amazing part of the country, one which provides me easy access to some incredible natural environments…Inspiration? All I need do is look out my window, and see that the mountain is beckoning!
There you have it Tubbs fans. Are you wishing for snow yet?