Snowshoeing Lily Pad Lake
There is a first time for everything…the first big snow of the season, your first time snowshoeing, being the first to break trail, first time out to Lily Pad Lake. First times are fun, ask anyone whoâ€™s survived the rush of trying something new. However, there seems to be a tipping point. Add enough first times to the same experience + it goes from being exciting to exhausting rather quickly. Last week, we found that tipping point!
If I could find a way to get paid to enable people outside of their comfort zone Iâ€™d be making bank + living on cloud nine. The whole process ofÂ encouraging, coaxing + witnessing someone step beyond their bubble is exhilarating + something I truly love doing. Albeit, they donâ€™t always love me as Iâ€™m doing the pushing + prodding.
Last week I managed to convince Katie Â snowshoeing would be fun. It really wasnâ€™t that hard to talk her into it — we had just gotten our first dumping of snow [about a month late] + we finally had the same day off work. We decided on Lily Pad Lake for our first snowy outing of the season + her first snowshoe adventure. Itâ€™s about a 3 mile out/back trail through the forest with a pristine lake at the turnaround point.
Katie is an adorable, soft spoken Texan who works with me at the clinic/ER up here in the mountains. Sheâ€™s smart enough to love snow but hasnâ€™t had a ton of opportunities to get out + play in. Thanks to Robbâ€™s generosity + gear we got her all set up for snowshoeing. I loaded my pack up with extra layers, snacks + water then we drove up to the trailhead + plunged into the nearly knee deep snow.
Turns out no one else had been out to track out the trail so we let Maxâ€™s nose pick up the trail + broke trail for the next lucky soul to head out exploring. Breaking trail…where winter fun always beings, or ends. Luckily we headed into the trees soon after leaving the car so the trek out to Lily Pad Lake stayed in the fun zone. We were surrounded by heaps of marshmallow fluff + complete silence.
We made our way out to the lake with a handful of breathers, aka photo stops. It was about 12 degrees out when we left the trailhead + aside from a few chilly toes we never had a chance to get too cold. Turns out plowing through freshies takes a lot of energy + thatâ€™ll keep ya warm!
I was out at Lily Pad a few weeks ago with Max + we were greeted by a few sassy ducks. This time around the ducks were long gone + their summer home was hidden under a perfect blanket of marshmallow fluff, aka snow. It was tempting to sprint across the lake, tempting our snowshoes to trip us + force us into snow angel mode. However, I wasnâ€™t quite convinced the lake was quite frozen enough for human shenanigans so we played it safe on the shore.
The lake was our turn around point + it soon became our tipping point that dropped us from “zomg, the snow is so pretty” thinking to “where the heck is the car” pleading. We turned around + back tracked along our winding trail focused on the hot chocolate + grilled cheese that waited for us at home. The extra effort required to break trail + master the art of snowshoeing was starting to take itâ€™s toll.
Katie plunged into survival mode + I jumped on the pacer train. She focused on not killing me for coming up with this stupid idea while I talked her ear off in an effort to distract her from her murderous thoughts. We stopped occasionally for snacks + I overshared survival + Leave No Trace tidbits as we our own tracks back to the car. While very few photos were taken on our trek back to the trailhead [focusing on survival has your forgetting about Instagram double taps] we definitely did not forget to stop + stare off into the forest of snowy trees.
Holy buckets of maple syrup…it was incredibly gorgeous + peaceful. We never saw another soul on our entire outing + Max was our only four legged friend on the trail [although, we did see moose tracks!]. The entire adventure may have felt like a stupid choice as we trudged up another hill but as soon as we paused to take in masterpiece Mother Nature had created for us it was all worth it.
Eventually we did make it back to the car…but not before Katie reminded me that “I know where you live + where you sleep” in a very threatening voice. Thankfully the aforementioned hot chocolate + grilled cheese had her forgetting all about the misery + I think itâ€™s safe to say sheâ€™s up for another snowy adventure. Soon.