The Go Get It Gals Go Play in the Snow!
Who says you can't take a day off from the bike during a 500km challenge? You can if you only have 36 miles to go and two days to do it!
Today was another adventure with the GGGs. We headed up to White Pass for a day of fun in the snow. Taryn, Michele, Peggy, and I all met at Peggy's in Mossyrock (thanks again for the ride, Taryn!), where we piled into Peggy's husband's big Dodge truck, and Peggy drove us up to the pass (thanks, too, Peggy!).
Even though it was a Saturday and the kids are still off from school, we got a primo parking spot in the lot (after being on the verge of dropping me off, when we see a car pull out--"Close the door! Close the door! Go Peggy! There's a spot! GO GO GO!!! Put your signal on!"--racing an SUV who turns out wasn't heading for the spot anyway. See, even parking is an adventure when you're with the GGGs!).
I was going snowshoeing (with my new snowshoes I got at the Girls' Night Out at REI), Taryn was tearing it up with her snowboard, and Michele and Peggy were skiing. After we got all our gear situated, I headed over to the Nordic Center (a yurt) and the others headed for the slopes. We made a plan to meet in the lodge at 4:30.
I got my trail pass ($15) and a map of the trails at the yurt. The gal gave me an idea of how long it would take to do the whole snowshoe trail (a couple of hours). I had plenty of time. I went back outside and put my snowshoes on and started walking. Snowshoeing on the groomed track is pretty easy.
I wasn't exactly sure where I was going, so I just followed another family that seemed like they had done this before. The kid kept traipsing off into the deep snow, so I gradually got ahead of them. I was on the cross-country ski trail (it's okay, snowshoes can go there--just have to stay to the side). I knew there was a snowshoe trail down closer to the lake, but I couldn't see how to get there. After awhile I came to a place where someone had previously walked through to the snowshoe trail. I went that way too.
I worked my way around Leech Lake (hmmmm...named for its occupants?) to the picnic area. From there I pulled out the map to see where I was supposed to go to do the Falls Loop. I couldn't find the snowshoe trail (I did, however, find the PCT, but realized that was not the way to get to the Falls). I followed the Nordic track around until I found the snowshoe trail again at the junction to Dog Lake Loop. From there I was back on the snowshoe trail all the way to the Falls. There were some pretty steep sections and I was grateful to have the climbing bar on my snowshoes (where your heel is raised up so, even though you are going uphill, the snowshoe stays flat on the ground).
I made it to the waterfall where I took some photos and had a little snack before continuing around the loop. This time I stayed on the snowshoe trail back to where I should have picked it up near the picnic area. I figured out why I couldn't find it, but I won't go into that. It was no big deal. It just meant I didn't go the same way twice!
Back at the picnic area, I continued on around the lake. I thought this was going to be easy (the other side of the lake was easy), but it was really the hardest part. It could have had something to do with fatigue on my part, but it was really quite twisty-turny and up and down. I employed my climbing bar a couple more times. It was also through the trees and, at times, the trail was very narrow. I remained conscious of not stepping on the snowshoe with the other foot and therefore face-planting into the snow. There were a couple of close calls.
I returned to the yurt after circumnavigating the lake. Even though I still had plenty of time before meeting up with the gals, I had done 3+ miles and was ready to call it good. I returned to the truck and put my snowshoes and poles in the back. Then I went over to the lodge to check out the offerings (the hot chocolate was pretty good) and wait for my pals.
They came in about 4:15 and we all went back to the truck. We all agreed it was a great day. I, for one, have to admit I was happy to have a day off from the bike. Getting to spend it with the GGGs made it the best! Below are some photos from my walking in a winter wonderland (yes, that song was playing on an endless loop in my head).
Tomorrow I'll be back on the bike to put this Festive 500 Challenge to bed!
Total miles today--0
Total kilometers remaining of the Festive 500--the same as yesterday