Snowy Woods - One Foot In Front of the Other

No pictures today - soon enough. It's not easy to get out during the cold, stormy weather - and I want to just hibernate. I think a lot of us do around this time of year. But last night, after taking the dog for a walk, I gathered my knapsack, my camping stove and headed off into the valley. Spring was at home with a book and bundled up warm in the wool blankets.

I was thoroughly bundled up too - last night ended a day with the record accumulation of snow in Toronto (according to the news report I heard). It was still snowing - thick, damp snow as I walked along - one foot in front of the other - to the park covered in wool layers, my thick hat, warm gloves and scarf, knapsack on my back.

Down into the valley, I decided to go off of the path, and slogged and trudged my way through deep snow into the tree line, up the valley wall, into an area I have never been. There was an area mostly untouched by the snow underneath a large spruce. I set up my camping chair (the kind without legs, one that just unfolds with a foam backing) by the clearing under the boughs, and lit my stove. I added some water to my mug, and topped it off with fresh snow and sat and listened and waited. Worries of work melted away and soon I was listening to the outside, rather than the inside.

The snow fell thick and occasionally branches would crack under the weight of it all. The stream rushed along about 20 feet below me at the bottom of a steep incline. It was dark and quiet and good.

Soon enough my stove brought the water to a boil, and I dropped in some sugar, some powdered milk and a tea bag and had myself a nice cup of tea. A zip-lock bag held some chocolate cookies to dip into the tea and soon I was warm on the inside and full of tasty stuff.

The time had passed so I got up and trudged alongside some tracks made by a deer. I was a real sight - emerging in the back of an apartment parking lot a kilometer away from home - looking like an odd transient covered in snow while industrious and shivering apartment dwellers cleared snow from their cars or bundled in groceries through the parking lot.

All in all I had a good time, but a couple of things I would have done differently: 1. I would have brought wool pants instead of jeans. The warmer weather and wet snow soaked them from my knees down - had I planned to be out longer, I could have really got cold. 2. The wet snow was kept at bay for only a little while by the spruce - I would bring my light-weight tarp next time and set up a little simple cover in similar conditions.

Anyway, that's all folks for the day mostly - hope all is well.

On a sad note, I learned this morning that Michael of One Foot in Front of the Other passed away recently of a rare cancer that he had been dealing with for a long while. His writings were very inspiring, and honest, and funny and human, and I encourage you all to visit and witness his poems and words.



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