When winter’s first gusts of cold blow into the region, I predictably squirrel myself away indoors under a pile of fleece with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of caramel corn, mozzarella sticks and streaming television. My first winter in the North Country, I tried. I promise, I really tried to get outside and do something during a long winter of early sunsets.
Then this last winter came and the -15 degree daytime temperatures broke my will. I would spend no more than seconds outdoors, slipping and sliding my way between a heated car and a cozy apartment. Unlike most hibernating creatures of winter, I managed to gain weight. It turns out my caramel corn supply was truly inexhaustible.
Somewhere during one of my longer TV and snack binges inside my fleece nest I actually got out of breath chewing. Needing a turn from torpor and an emergence from indolence, I brushed the crumbs off my belly. But there was still snow outside!
A self induced food/TV coma is not the only option in winter. According to Jeremy Drowne, the irrepressibly cheery and energetic owner of Kinetic Running in downtown Plattsburgh, the snow is not an obstacle but an asset. Speaking with him while filming my latest episode of “Northbound and Around” in his Margaret Street shop, he spoke excitedly about not only getting out for a walk on the snow, but running on it.
He fitted me up with a pair of rental snowshoes and got me out on the snowy trails of the New Land Trust in Saranac, NY. With strategically placed hand warmers all over my body, it wasn’t even really cold. It was really… beautiful. A snow filled forest, with its drooping boughs and fossil like snow tracks maintains a sort of serenity that only exists there.
My huffing and puffing, wheezing and occasional whining were the only things that broke the silent snow-scape. In time, my struggles with the snowshoes turned to smiles and a little sweat. I could feel my body detoxing out a winter of poor food choices and long unused muscles remembering their purpose.
By the time the sun started slowly retreating I found myself checking the 10 day weather app forecast on my phone in hopes the snow season might last a bit longer. In the North Country, it is a certainty there is always going to be just one more before winter gives out. When it does, you’ll find me, not peering out behind a pile of empty wrappers at a glowing screen, but summiting a snowy hill with the late winter sun above. Winter can’t return soon enough.
Tune in for my snowshoeing adventure Friday, March 30th at 8:00 & midnight, Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday at 10:00 am or watch online here.
Recommend your favorite place to snowshoe in the comments!
Kinetic Running offers one day and weekend snowshoe rentals for both kids and adults. They are happy to also point you in the direction of some good local trails. They also sell running shoes and other active wear.