Sunday, February 6, 2011


The world is a very beautiful place. Especially when you see it beneath a million twinkling stars and one tiny slice of the moon. Nighttime is, quite possibly, Mother Nature's most glorious time. Especially at this time of year because so many of us, humans and animals, live to hibernate when the sun goes down. A cold winter's night becomes a serene landscape of untouched snow, untrodden paths and the sounds of, well...of nothing. Of sleep. Of peace and ultimate quite. That is, if you're lucky enough to live near land that exists as nothing more than land. And I am lucky in that way.

Although it is frozen right now, Lake Michigan has much to offer those who travel its shores. Dune upon dune creates trail after trail worth traveling, and last night, Jason and I traveled a few of them. We met up with a group of people equally unafraid of the dark, equally interested in experiencing Mother Nature at night, for some nightshoeing. Translation: showshoeing at night. And it was fun. A truly wonderful experience organized by Bill Magley of Nature's Fitness—he so graciously loaned us each a pair of showshoes (and one headlamp).

As you can see, the snow is beautifully light and fluffy—and yes, I'm rocking my old running shoes yet again. (Let it be known that I am officially hunting for some winter boots.) My toes started off somewhat frozen, but warmed rather quickly as we got moving. I thought at first that I would be suffering through what turned out to be a two-hour adventure, but was thrilled to find that my body warmed itself in every place that started off rather cold.

That's what happens when you get your heart rate up. Blood pumps to every working part and piece on your body—and that translates to burning calories. Believe you me that snowshoeing is a most excellent way to burn some calories. To get some cardio, too. And it might even be harder than running in the snow because you're lugging around extra equipment. (You be the judge.) But don't let the equipment sway you from the experience. In fact, despite the equipment, I think it's more enjoyable than running. And I like running. It's easier to soak in your surroundings when you're snowshoeing, obviously because the pace is slower. And in our case, even though it was dark, we wanted to soak in as much as we could. Good thing I brought my camera:

Despite what you see above, the essence of being out there in the dunes at night just couldn't be caught on film. That's something you'll have to experience for yourself, and I hope you will some day. Snowshoeing, mid-day or at night, is a great experience. And trust me—snowshoes really do make a difference. They stop you from sinking into the snow, give you a nice toe-pick for digging into the uphills, and they also give you the ability to sneak in a few fun little slides when you hit the downhills. Nothing like being on skis or a snowboard (obviously), but it's a good time nonetheless. I promise.

It's a good workout, too. I promise you that as well.

So thanks again, Nature's Fitness. We definitely enjoyed ourselves.

Question: Got a great snowshoeing story? Tell me! If not, then tell me what you did this weekend to get your heart pumpin'!

1 comment:

William Magley said...

Nice recap of the evenings event! There is something special about outdoor fitness and you add another twist when you do it at night!! I am glad everyone had a great time.

Great post Tara!


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