The first thing I wanted to do when I returned home from Germany was volunteer as a trail host at Dakota Ridge. I had very few opportunities to go up there and play in the snow the past couple of years: I went to Italy in the winter of 2015 and I worked almost every Saturday the winter of 2016. However, this year was completely different. The winter this year was unusually cold and long, but it brought several of feet of snow to Dakota Ridge, allowing us plenty of opportunities to get up there.
In early 2014, our first season of volunteering at Dakota Ridge, I learnt Nordic skiing (here in Canada we call it cross-country skiing) as that’s one skill I really wanted to learn. My Mom, on the other hand, bought a pair of snowshoes, preferring that sport instead.
When I was seventeen I had gone up the tetrahedron with my boyfriend, his father, brother and some other friends and snowshoed to Bachelor Lake cabin. It was an incredibly hard workout getting there. The snow was deep and soft in places, so my feet kept sinking into it, causing me to stumble several times. That was a fun and memorable weekend getaway, but I decided then that snowshoeing was not my thing.
In the winter of 2016, I rediscovered snowshoeing. It was partly because I didn’t want to go off cross-country skiing alone while my mother and my friends hiked on a different trail in their snowshoes. Though, I enjoy the cardio workout I get while snowshoeing. I also enjoy having the ability to stop, drink in the scenery around me and take photos whenever I desire. That’s something I can’t do so easily on skis.
I was fortunate I was able to make it up Dakota Ridge and enjoy the snow as much as I was able to this past winter (I was up there twice a month). It’s Spring now — or should I say trying to be — so I am anticipating a summer filled with new kayaking, swimming, hiking and beach fire adventures, but I do know that, when winter comes again, I will volunteer once again at Dakota Ridge.