Hello everyone, Steve from Steve’s Country here once again! It’s been awhile since my last post, it has just been such a busy month. But I invite you to come on over to Steve’s Country to enjoy more of these posts. Also if you like mystery stories I have an ongoing series which I started a year ago, and just changed the title slightly for this year. You can find links to them all on my home page! Just click on my name to come and visit. Okay, enough with the advertising and on to the story for today. This is a true story, I used to do a lot of snowshoeing at one time but I can’t any more due to health problems. Sorry this is in two parts, but it’s a bit long for one post. So, let’s get started…
Well, here it is January once again. Normally a time of very cold and lots of snow. We don’t have either this year, but that’s okay, I really don’t mind at all. At one time I didn’t mind so much spending time outdoors in the winter. I was crazy, that’s the only way to explain it. Anyway, I used to enjoy snowshoeing, even when it was very cold. I found it a very nice way to enjoy the solitude of the winter forest.
But, like most outdoor activities, it is best to do with someone else. Just in case. Problems can arise that we just do not anticipate and, if alone, those problems can be dangerous. That didn’t stop me however. No one else shared my enthusiasm for snowshoeing. Or hiking. Or canoeing. Or most any other outdoor activity. So I usually was off by myself enjoying the winter beauty of the boreal forest. One year in January there was about 3 feet (nearly 1 meter), of snow on the ground. Great for snowshoes.
That day, as I started out, it was -15F (-26C), so not too bad. And I was dressed warmly. That was a good thing as it turned out. But as usual I didn’t tell anyone where I was going or how long I would be away. Something that definitely should be done when going out alone. But easy to follow a snowshoe trail, right? Problem is I had a lot of trails around, hard packed trails, so I didn’t wear my snowshoes until I got to an area where I would make a new trail. So it could take a while to find out which trail I took, if people had to come looking for me.
It was really beautiful. The sun was shining brilliantly through the pines. And it was quiet. The only noise was me. Periodically I would stop and listen. Nothing. Just quiet. No sign of life at all. Except at one spot a squirrel was sitting at the base of a large pine chewing on a pine cone. He paid no attention to me when I stopped to watch. Those cones are rock hard but he had no trouble biting it open to extract the small seeds inside. Unfortunately I didn’t bring any food with me or I would have shared some with him.
I was heading off to an area I hadn’t been before. It was simply breathtaking looking off into the trees, the sun’s rays shining through and glistening on the snow. After a bit I turned back toward a more familiar area as there was a small cliff along a valley and I wanted to go down to the valley and then swing back to another trail I had made a week before. Even with snowshoes it was hard going at times and I was starting to get a bit tired when I arrived at the cliff edge. I was wondering if I should turn and head back or go down to the valley below. It was a new part of this cliff area for me to explore, and there was a nice easy way down to a ledge about 30 or so feet (about 10 meters) down the cliff. It was just a nice gentle slope so off I went. About half way down this ‘slope’ I heard some cracking sounds and then…WHUMP! I fell the last 20 feet (about 6 meters). But that wasn’t the worst of it…
I guess we will leave it here for today, but don’t worry, I won’t make you wait long for part 2 so we can see what happened to me on that cold January day. Pictures used are not from that day, I didn’t have a camera at that time. I hope you all have a wonderful day and God bless!
Steve. ©2021 Steve McLeod.