First Time Snowshoeing

I had snowshoeing on my to-do list for this winter. I've pretty much given up on skiing because I'm a tightwad and skiing is just too expensive for the cost-to-enjoyment ratio for me. Snowshoeing, on the other hand, just requires an initial investment in the snowshoes and then you can trek across any State parkland you want!

I considered going to REI. They rent out the shoes and poles for $15 a day if you are a member (and who isn't?).  They offer an intro class for $70 which includes the equipment and then an adventure trying them out somewhere up the hill. My ex-husband, though, scoffed at that idea. He snowshoes and is a leader in the Sacramento Hiking Group on Meetup. He told me to go rent the equipment and then join him on Sunday. He had a group already planning on going and I could go with them for my initiation. Then the words: "Don't worry. It'll be mostly flat and a good beginner trek for you."

Liar! But more on that later.

Wrong boots
Right boots, wrong place

I arrived at his house at 7:30 and dumped all my gear into the back of his pickup. Then we were off to meet the others at the Park n Ride at 8. We had a group of nine. I was the  only virgin. It was on the drive up, around Colfax, that I realized, "Crud! I left my hiking boots in my trunk!" Luckily I had snow boots with me, which did work out. Thank goodness they were waterproof.

We arrived at the Lola Montez Lakes Trail off the Soda Springs exit. The group had hiked this trail last January but hadn't been able to find the lake. They hoped to find it this time.

Thomas helped me strap the shoes on and had me walk around on the road. "You're now an intermediate!" he proclaimed. Off we went.

We didn't trek too far before we hit a rushing creek with no way across. Last winter there had been a snow bridge. We could not find a way to cross this time, so we followed it upstream in hopes of finding a crossing.

Thomas on the log.
There were several logs that crossed that I wanted no part of. Trying to cross an icy log with snowshoes on? No thanks! Thomas was determined though and started playing around with this one and guess what?

Shoe retrieved!
He dropped his snowshoe in the river! Luckily it got lodged and after several minutes Deon retrieved it. And so our plan changed. Maybe we'll just try to climb the peak instead.

What was that comment about it all being flat? Does this next picture look flat?

You want me to climb that?!?

I followed the group about halfway up and then had to stop. I was wearing the wrong footwear with no ankle support and my foot was sliding around and twisting in my boot. The steep climb was too much. Add to that I suffer from migraines from extreme exertion and altitude and my head was pounding. Julie and I gave up on the climb and Deon took us back to the river to eat our lunches. His excuse? "I said flat, not level. It's flat at an angle." Yeah, right.

Deon and Kuma during lunch break
All in all, it was a gorgeous, warm day with great company. Next time I just need to remember to bring the proper boots and my migraine drugs and I should be fine. As for snowshoeing, give it a try. It's easy, cheap, and a good workout!
I survived!

Thanks to Emerleen and Julie for a couple of their pictures!

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