First Snowshoe of the Season
This weekend I had a chance to sneak away for my first snow shoe trek of the winter 2020-21 season. Of course, I had to bring a kite with me hoping to find a spot to fly. Usually I pack in my trusty iFlite, but this time I decided to take with me a brand new Prism Zenith 5.
The day started out wonderfully with a ferry ride as the sun was rising. It gave me a chance to check the weather, the avalanche predictions, and plan out my route. Sometimes living on an island can be frustrating. There is either the hassle of getting the right ferry, or taking the bridge to the north and driving a long way to get 'away'. But, we live here for the beauty and simplicity of it, and riding a ferry at sunrise across the calm waters is not something we take for granted. :)
After a quick stop for coffee and a check in with the ranger, I was off along the trail. Putting on my snowshoes for the first time every winter is like a rebirth. I have to rediscover my gait, the sound and feeling of the snow scrunching under foot is new again. Different snow has different sounds, different feels, different texture; and all of that resonates through the sole of your feet. I am not sure how to explain it, but it is feeling the winter world all over again. Really.... feeling it.
The snow was untouched, a bit warm, a little thick, but stable. The first 1000 feet of the trail isn't really a trail, it is more of picking your way down a steep slope to the trail below. There is another way of accessing this trail that is perhaps a touch easier, but it requires an additional mile and a half winding slog. If the conditions are right, I will usually opt for the knee busting, thigh burning slope; gingerly picking my way back and forth till I am on flatter ground.
As I hiked out across the snow, the wind gusted from down the valley, then would disappear. Only to have soft rolling thermal winds tumble down from the ridge above. It never truly settled on one direction, or strength, and perhaps I should have been more in tune to this when trying to pick a place to fly a kite.
I tried for about 30 minutes to make the best of the conditions, but, it didn't turn out in any way that I would call successful kite flying.
Which got me thinking about how often people experience 'not perfect conditions' with kite flying, or any hobby really, and give up because of it. It is part of the reason I am taking kites with me to places that are not easy to get to. In a small way it helps me put things into context, to see the whole picture, instead of be frustrating by one thing that went wrong. In another way it is reminding me to 'work' for what I want, and appreciate what I have. Just like my morning ferry ride..... even in the 'struggles' there are beautiful moments.
So, while I hiked a total of 7.2 miles in the snow to try and fly a kite, and did not do so successfully, I had a lot of fun. It was beautiful, it was perfect, it was what I didn't know I needed.
For a video of the hike check out :
ps. Yes, I even contemplated NOT making this video because of my 'unsuccessful kite flying'. But, where is the fun in that?!?!