The time from Dec 24th until January 2nd was spent in New Hampshire with my family. It was a real vacation, something I have not had in a long time. Aside from the time off, I got outside for a few winter sports: Cross Country Skiing, Sledding, and Snowshoeing.
Growing up, my family was all about downhill skiing, but the cost, plus the time away from my family meant that I had no drive to go. Even with all of the great snow this past week.
For cross country, we went out the East Branch of the Pemigewasset river by Lincol Woods. The snow was so hard packed that many people were out hiking using just boots and simple crampons.
My folks had picked up a pair of snow shoes. My wife and I tried them out and I fell instantly in love with the sport. I have always loved the New England woods, especially the ability to wander aimlessly. Snowshoeing opens up the woods in winter time. With the snow covering all the entangling underbrush that hadn’t dies off in the fall, and the metal teeth biting in allowing you to navigate the steepest slope, the woods are open to a degree you don’t find any other time. Yes, snowshoeing is slower than hiking or skiing, but the mobility is amazing. So now I have to do research to buy myself and my wife a pair.
My Dad has a tractor and an excavator, and I swear he never stops playing on them when we go to NH. This year, he ignored our entreties not to tear up the meadow and used the excavator to build a sledding run. The meadow was always a tough sled run, as the long line also was the crest of the hill, and it constantly wanted to throw you off into the flats or the underbrush. He built a track right down the crest, augmented with a little shovel work. The packed down snow soon became Ice. A little Silicone lubricant applied to the bottom of the tubes made for one hell of a fast sled run.