After completing this post and actually liking how it turned out, I lost the second half as I tried to publish it. I am extremely mad. Now it's not half as good as it was. I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Being back home in Utah means having family, friends, and training partners around. And thanks to all of them, Karl and I were able to end the year with a much-needed adventure! One that we both went on, not just one of us. While the boys were cared for by loving grandparents and entertained by fun cousins, we ventured out in the woods for an epic snowshoe hike.
I was super excited to spend some quality time with 3 awesome girlfriends (oh, aehm, and my husband, of course) and Karl was happy to be joined by 2 of his ultra-running buddies. As you can tell, this was not going to be a walk in the park...
Jen, Heather, Anne, Karl, and I all squeezed into our Subaru and headed up Hobble Creek Canyon early Friday morning to meet up with Brian and Ben. We hiked for about 1.5 miles on the snow-covered road, and then we turned right to go up Day's Canyon. At this point the 15F (-10C) were quite manageable.
As soon as we turned off, we got to cross a little stream. While Brian was packing down the snow on the log for us...
...the girls took some pictures. Our fingers and facial muscles were still working quite well at this point.
After we had all made it across the log safely, the real fun began!
The snow was unbelievable. There was so much powder that, in spite of our snow shoes, the leader would sink in up to his/her knees. Being in front was hard work. Nobody lasted much longer than 10 minutes in front. It was that exhausting. Here I am making a trail for the rest of the crew.
Being in the back of the pack was so much easier. By that time, the snow was pretty well packed down and it was almost a walk in the park. Almost.
Don't let this next picture fool you. We did not let the boys do all the work. We had a great group of athletes and everyone was willing to take a turn in the front. I actually think the guys were grateful to have us along. It sure would've been a lot harder with only 3 people.
This is what our long little track looked like. What a beautiful sight! I wish I could go back now and do the loop again...
Our first little break. We really could not stop for more than 5 minutes at a time or we would have been frozen solid. The sun never really made her way through the clouds and by now it was even colder.
After about 4 hours the cold started to creep deep down to my core. I was cold. Really cold. Numb toes, cold hands, frozen face. Shivering. I did not feel like drinking ice water and just the thought of opening my backpack to get out some snacks was too much. Even so, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I think some of the other felt the same.
After coming down Daniel's Canyon, we met up with the road and tried to cover the last 3 miles back to the cars as quickly as possible. Once we got there, Anne wanted to take this really cool shot with the snowshoes framing our faces. When she tried to rearrange my snowshoes, I snapped at her: "Let's just get this over with, shall we?" I am so sorry, Anne. I did not mean to be rude, I just wanted to get into the car as fast as possible. I had never been this cold in my life.
Thank you for coming along and making this trip amazing. These ladies rock! So grateful for good friends. I was especially happy that Jen was able to join us. I love having her on adventures. Does not she look absolutely amazing? She is my inspiration in pretty much everything I do.
I also enjoyed having this guy around. I think he looks the hottest in his mountaineering gear. Maybe not in this particular picture, but overall... Probably because the winter I fell in love with him we pretty much climbed a different peak every weekend. Good times!
As for the rest of my New Year's Eve:
I took a long hot shower, ate lots of food, barely managed to entertain my kids until bedtime, sent Karl and his parents to play some games at Lena's house, and passed out at 8:30. I really don't handle the cold very well.
Happy New Year to you! Hope this is going to be your best year yet!