With the recent snowstorm dumping 17-20+ inches of snow in the Twin Cities Metro area you would think that all I would have on my mind would be getting the Pugsley out. Wrong...Most trails and bike paths are still unplowed and impassible and I refuse to ride in traffic. Motorist are unable to see over the snowbanks, turn lanes are non-existent, and many of the two lane roads were down to one or at least a lane and half.
The true fact of the matter is that I see this huge dumping of snow as an opportunity to get out and do some other winter activities that I truly love. It's not often that we get a true snowshoeing type of snow, and this most recent storm left conditions that are absolutely perfect for snowshoeing and now that the trails are groomed, XC skiing.
So, after going for a nice 5 mile run on Sunday morning and finishing up some shoveling and snowblowing, I decided that snowshoeing in Elm Creek Park would be in order during the afternoon. It turned out to be absolutely beautiful. Bright sun, blue bird skies, single digit temps with the windchills below zero made snowshoeing conditions perfect.
This along with the fact that many people were still digging out, left the woods relatively quiet. People had been out so I didn't have the privilege of being the "first" but none the less, it was absolutely beautiful and quiet. It's great to know that there are still quiet places to go not far from the "big city."
One thing is for certain, with all the early snow we have had, ice conditions on local lakes, rivers, and streams are far from perfect and not very safe. All the snow has created an insulating layer and has left many lakes and streams with a good layer of slush underneath the snow.
Even in northern Minnesota some lakes remained slush covered and unsafe ten days ago. A friend who is a logger said, he never saw the woods this wet so late. With a late rain and two feet of early snow much of the ground has not had a chance to freeze and he was having difficulty getting equipment in and out of the woods. Many of the swamps have also not frozen solid leaving trail conditions questionable for people on snowmobiles. Maybe with the recent arctic cold snap things will improve.
I've never believed in getting too wrapped up in one thing and I've always opened myself up to a variety of interests. So, with that being said, as much as I love winter cycling, I also love winter running, snowshoeing, and XC skiing. Variety is the spice of life and I plan to make the most out of this winter by enjoying all the things I love to do.
Rest assured that I will be out on that Pugsley sometime very soon. However, tonight, after sunset, I plan on being on the snowshoes once again. Enjoy winter...Get out and have some fun.
Funny thing is...It's not even winter yet.