Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sally's Sense of Snow

In honor of J, I decided to join a new meet-up that is for 'outdoorsy families'. People that know me would most likely not ever choose 'outdoorsy' as one of my descriptors, but I finally gave into the fact that family fun with J and two boys would most likely involved camping, hiking and the like. While I'll be content to be left behind when they're older and want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail as J did the summer before we started dating, or go ultralight camping, I'd like to join the fun while they still want me around.

One of the first outings that appealed to me was snowshoeing. I've never done it before, and actually haven't participated in any winter sports since taking skiing lessons in sixth grade and never really figuring out how to slow down, resulting in the running over of my instructor at a high speed...more than once.

I RSVP'd yes to snow-shoeing at Weston Ski Track, pre-paid for two Pulks so that J and I could pull the kids in a relatively warm and comfy way and then anxiously awaited the big day. As the time drew near I realized a few things.

1. I don't really own any snow gear. I have a winter coat, but no ski pants, gloves, boots...
2. I'm really out of shape. What if it's super strenuous?

3. The fact that I don't own any gear for winter activity, and haven't since high school, is further demonstrative of my un-'outdoorsy' nature.

I started to get anxious.

I posted to the talk loop for my mom's group to see if anyone had ski pants I could use for the day and learned from a thrifty mama that Dick's had them on sale for less than $30. Whew! I arrived at the store and started flipping through the large rack of clearance ski pants and bibs. The bibs were only available up to size L...yeah, no. I took the XL pants to the dressing room and quickly stripped down. Because I'm currently built like Miss Piggy, my old problem of things fitting fine in the waist but being too tight in the thighs reared its ugly head.

The sale pants did not come in XXL, so I did a couple quick tugs at the knees and little bends to see if I could at least partially function and determined that if I didn't stride too large, bend over or fall down, I'd be golden. A little Tommy Boy "fat guy in a little coat" but I had my black Nike dry-fits I could wear underneath for cover in the event of a mortifying rear blow-out. Sweet. Coupled with my running shoes that I was wearing with two pairs of wool socks, I looked like a freakin' PRO.

On the morning of, we got bundled and arrived at our destination which turned out to be a huge golf course that they convert to cross-country ski/snow-shoeing trails in the winter. Perfect! Nothing too strenuous. To make it even easier, there have been several warm/freeze/warm/freeze cycles, so the crusty ice over the top of the snow would be much easier to navigate than powder that didn't offer resistance.

We had to park on a side road and they had shuttles taking us to the site, as it was a free trail use day and the place was packed. I saw my first obstacle when I realized I'd have to climb up into the van...without ripping my snow pants. Shit.

I vividly remember in Junior High when skin-tight wranglers were all the rage and I stepped into the stirrup from the ground for a long ride at one of my friend's houses only to hear the sickening rip of denim along my inner thigh...that was an interesting ride, let me tell you.

I was so relieved as we were driving up and I saw people walking around in snowshoes that were only about a foot longer than regular shoes, and were a metal frame. Because I'd never done it, I was still imagining the wooden framed monstrosities of the type that my college boyfriend had hanging on his wall in the I have a feeling they were all for show and he never really used them. Knowing him, this is not surprising.

We weathered the rental lines, filled out the forms, strapped our kids into the pulks and away we went. As we were descending our first real 'hill' I felt the gentle pressure of the trailer in the small of my back, and started laughing as the mental image of me falling down the hill with the trailer attached to me filled my mind. Since it's attached by a metal frame, I wouldn't have been run over by it, but still. What would have happened? As I posed this question to J, his answer was that I would never have been able to stop laughing.

He's right about that. The only thing funnier than watching someone else fall, is when it happens to you in a humiliating public display; the fat girl who decides to be athletic for the weekend in her too-tight ski pants goes tumbling down the hill with her child attached, ripping her pants, overturning the trailer and falling in a heap at the bottom, in uncontrollable fits of laughter. He's right, I would never have recovered.

Alas, that did not happen and we had a wonderful time. Now, we're discussing a camping trip to The Cape this summer. Yeah, because I do so well in the heat.


Crafty Mama said...

I feel you about the pants and sizes, I went looking for a winter coat at LL Bean up in Maine a couple of weeks ago. NOTHING in my size!!!

Sounds like a lot of fun today, Sally. Glad it was a good time and not "mortifying." :P

Mrs. V said...

Wow, sounds like a lot went through your mind from the time you registered for the trip before some of these thoughts had occurred to you. Like always, you had me dying laughing. The girls were wondering what was going on. J hit it right on, you never would have stopped laughing...haha.

That Girl . . . said...

I love snowshoeing! And you're right, every time I've fallen down I could not stop laughing. Sounds like you had a great time.

Portlandia said...

Snowshoeing is so fun I bought my own last year. My most embarassing snow shoeing moment, though, was not from falling. 6 months prego in the middle of the loop around a lake, I HAD to pee, stat. I trundled through the powder far from the trail, dropped and squatted, only to discover, mid-stream, that I had walked so far off the trail I had gotten about 10 feet from another section of said trail, and a nice family snowshoeing along together, enjoying the scenery until...

Sally HP said...

Portlandia, that's so embarassing! I hope not to top you ;)

Alex Elliot said...

Portlandia's comment is cracking me up! My hubby had the same reaction as you when I told him about the outdoors club!