Winnipeg has been experiencing a bone-chilling cold snap with unpleasant temperatures of -20°C and below, and strong winds that increase the danger of frostbite. After a couple of weeks of hot baths, electric blankets and checking the furnace air vents for ice buildup several times a day, I woke up this Sunday to discover that the weather had changed for the better.
The first thing I did was go into the closet in the spare bedroom to grab my snowshoes, and after breakfast I drove to Fort Whyte, a nature preserve in the southwest corner of the city.
I’m very much the Town Mouse in Aesop’s fable of The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. I like urban comforts like coffee shops and going to the Symphony. There is something magical, though, about spending an hour or so just walking among the trees and hearing little more than the crunch of snow underfoot.
Today, because it was my first snowshoe outing of the winter, I played it safe and kept to familiar paths, and headed back to the car when my knee started to ache. Overdoing things is a good way to kill the mood, especially when you’re footsore from wandering all the way across the park and have to walk the same distance all over again before you can even think of going home. Been there, done that.
Regardless of how far I decide to hike, or how vigorously, it always feels like I’ve accomplished something just by making the effort to get out there — and unplugging from the city hustle and bustle just feels right.