The Oops in Whoops

wpss4Winter came late this year in New England. January arrived and we were worried that the season would pass without enough snow sticking for snow showing. Then the weather took a turn. When snowpocalypse finally took a breather after leaving a record breaking amount of snow behind in a week, we dashed outside to play. More snow fell. We spent another weekend hiking in the snow. Then more snow fell. We took our snow shoes and ventured to uncharted territory.

wpss7We hiked down a long plowed road that ended at a utility outpost. The trail was nowhere in sight. Some faint depressions led from the road – it was quite possible that no one had hiked the path since four feet of snow had fallen. So we set off through the woods, breaking a trail of our own. The good thing about trekking across virgin snow is that you can follow your tracks back the way you came, making it difficult to get lost. The bad thing is that each step is really hard work!

A long, meandering trek through the woods, followed by an equally long backtrack and we were on the plowed road walking back to the car. I don’t remember what impelled my husband to step off the road, but he did. And his snow shoe promptly became wedged under something (root, branch, mammoth tusk) under several feet of snow.

wpss2Fools rush in. Women named Shannon take one careful step forward in order to take hold of an outstretched trekking stick to provide some leverage and somehow end up engulfed in a snow mound. And since this particular woman named Shannon was me, there were, of course, vines with angry thorns that appeared from beneath the snow, impeding my escape.

At some point during the hike I had removed my gloves and hung them around my neck. The good? It only took a minute for my hands to go from freezing cold to burning pain to completely numb. The bad? It takes much longer to extract thorns from your clothes when you’re fumbling at them with numb hands. The ugly? The thorns only took their teeth out of my clothes in exchange for biting into my flesh.

It was a race against time to get all of the vines gathered to the side to free my escape route as I melted my way deeper into the drift. Suspiciously, my husband was free as soon as I was trapped, but in his defense, he did step on the vines and give me a hand up. Although it seemed like forever, it was really only a few minutes until I was back on my feet again, warming my hands and shaking the snow out of the back of my pants.

wpss1A few minutes later we were back in the car and on our way to our next hike, which was blessedly uneventful while providing lovely views from the north and south peak of Mount Pisgah. It’s not always easy being the girl who puts the oops in whoops. Sometimes it’s a real burden. But sometimes it has its benefits as well. With skills like mine, even the mundane can turn into an adventure.

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