All signs and forecasts were promising a phenomenal day today: sunny, little to no wind, and a balmy -2 to -4 degrees. Just cold enough to keep the snow and just warm enough to ensure that you don't freeze your ass off. Today is unfolding exactly as promised.
As the day was perfect, I decided to be a little more immersed in the project than over the past four days. Instead of seeking small moments of interacting with nature I decided to dive head first into a multi-hour snowshoeing adventure.
- Snowshoes - check
- Poles - check
- Daypack - check
- Stove - check
- Hot chocolate mix - check
- Instant oatmeal - check
- Camera - check
- Butt pad - check
- Water bottle - check
- Light winter clothes - check
I took the car (shame) to the edge of town. The best place, that I've found, to jump into nature is at the edge of the industrial park on the airport road. Just up the hill a little from the PEI Humane Society. The confederation trail intersects the road and the construction company right beside the trail has plenty of parking. They don't seem to mind that people use their lot to access the trail. This morning there were three cars parked there.
I set off on the trail. The trail is essentially well groomed due to the heavy snowmobile traffic. Walking was easy and I was able to get away from the city at a good pace. While there were some snowmobilers out and about they were very respectful and would slow down and give me plenty of room as they went past.
After a kilometre or so on the trail I set out across a field towards a nice looking woods. The snow was untouched and the going was fairly easy.
I wandered around the field and woods for what must have been an hour or so. I was thoroughly enjoying the tranquillity of woods. Occasionally I would hear a crow or a woodpecker For the most part thought it was me making the most noise.
I came upon a small clearing in the woods and decided to have breakfast. I boiled some water (melted snow), made some hot chocolate, and mixed up some instant oatmeal. Then I just sat, ate, and listened. I could hear the snow falling from the branches. I could hear distant snowmobiles playing on the trail. I could hear the light wind rustling through the trees. All was well.
On the way back I stopped occasionally to admire the many, many, small animal tracks darting through the snow. While winter in the woods seems like it is deserted and barren, it's obvious that it's business as usual for the local inhabitants.
I had an absolutely amazing time, all within a 4 minute drive from my home. I'm lucky to live in such a beautiful and accessible place.
Now off to enjoy the rest of the day!