Sunday, February 9, 2014


We've had sun for 2 whole days. And the weather has warmed up. If -6C can be considered warm! After -25C (-13F), it does feel quite balmy around Ottawa.

People are leaving their houses and embracing the last few weeks of winter. For those who don't know, the Rideau Canal splits the city of Ottawa and in the winter it freezes over. They clean it off and skaters can skate for 7.8 km (4.8 mi). It is the "longest (widest) skating rink in the world".

We have a three week celebration, called Winterlude, but I'm not a skater so rarely go down now. I have walked while others skated and who would want to miss eating a Beavertail. It's a deep fried pastry sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Yummy and full of calories.

I do snowshoe with a group every Saturday morning and yesterday was a tougher trail. We follow the cross-country ski trail but walk to the side in fresh snow so as not to disturb the ski tracks. I remember how hard it is to cross-country ski when someone has walked through the trails messing up the long striding skiing. The newer snowshoes are made from aluminum and aren't quite as wide or long as the old wood and gut snowshoes that the voyageurs used. I also use my Nordic walking poles for stability.
My aluminum snowshoes and Nordic walking poles.
The snow was about a foot deep in the forest and walking can be quite strenuous when breaking trail. Our leader usually tries to push through a trail and we follow along. Snow will pile up on the snowshoe so it feels like wearing weights around your ankles. The pictures below were at the end of our trek near the road where the snow wasn't very deep.
Kizell Pond Trail, Kanata
Near Beaver Pond
But what a workout. And what a joy being outside. A bit of Vitamin D from the sun doesn't hurt either, although we are bundled up so tight, very little skin shows. Within 10 minutes of trudging along the trail, I've usually unzipped my coat, unwrapped my scarf and removed my mitts. I dress in layers and really do work up a sweat. 

My Snowshoeing group
I discovered years ago that I need to embrace winter. To get out and enjoy the snow. But I am looking forward to seeing buds form on the trees in April, leaves burst out in May and the green return.

Then we will start the "it's so hot" mantra in the middle of summer. What I'd give to walk out in bare feet right now and forget about the boots.

Hoping you are enjoying the snow!


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The Furry Gnome said...

Sounds like good winter fun. I did skate the canal once, going for several miles. This year I'm doing more XC skiing than anything else, but still enjoying winter!

MandaPanda said...

It all sounds so fun! I spent 2 very short years in Ohio and hated the snow so it's not for me, personally but I love seeing all the pics of people getting out and making the best of it. :)

Beth Ann said...

Love the snowshoeing! I have never done it, but I would so love to try.

Cynthia said...

I like to snowshoe also and try to get out as much as I can. The last couple weeks have been impossible the temps have been so cold. We are starting a bit of a warmup, so maybe this weekend!
Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Blackberry Lane said...

Hi Sandy, Visiting with you from My Little Home and Garden.
Your snow pictures are very pretty. I live in Georgia and we had a rare snow/ice storm this week. We are not prepared for such weather but it has been pretty to look at.
Like you, I am eager now for Spring. Happy Valentine's Day.


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