Monday, 4 January 2010

The Donner Party

snow, blowing snow, freezing rain - temps minus 7

I know - freezing rain when it's minus 7? But there's a crust under the fresh snow now and a layer of ice clinging to the trees. When the wind blows it sounds like guests at a wedding party demanding a kiss.

After a day and a half indoors with the blizzard Michael and I took the snowshoes out of the basement and decided to take Trudy around the pond. What a to-do. first we had to remember what clothes we wear (leggings and thermal socks), then we had to adjust the snowshoes to our new winter boots - falling all over each other as we stood on one foot, then the other. Dancing with the Idiots. All the while Trudy is staring at us, her ice-encrusted ball in her mouth.

Finally, after a struggle, we ready. It's snowing and blowing - but we're determined. For the first ten feet. Then I for one was ready to head back in and get a hot chocolate. We weren't even in the snow yet, but still on the driveway.

But Michael thought I was kidding, so on we went. Up to our thighs in snow. Ploughing through it. It was, I have to say, seriously exhausting. I looked back at the house (in the near distance) and realized if I was a pioneer I'd be the first one eaten. I'd just curl up and die. No way could I have done what they did. First canoe portage? Shoot me. First mountain range? leave me here to die.

I'm definitely more of an indoor pioneer. Exploring internal landscapes. They can be pretty scary too. And sometimes, I eat my young.

We made it halfway around the pond, gave Trudy her treat, and retraced our steps, into the wind and blowing snow. That was easier because we'd already broken the trail. Snowshoeing is great exercise. Probably better if you go more than 100 yards. But we did make a discovery. We like it by the fireplace better...but the only thing better than the hearth, is the hearth with a hot chocolate after being out in a blizzard. It was seriously fun.

Then I got on the phone, called our travel agent, and booked another week in St. Lucia. A few more paces through the snow and we'd have bought a place there. So - now it's 2 weeks at Sandals. We are almost giddy with excitement!

Had a nice day. Did some slight updates on the website. Read the mass market pages for The Brutal Telling, to correct any mistakes (16, 17??) - heading out tomorrow for breakfast in Cowansville (once we dig the car out) - and meeting Cotton for lunch in Knowlton.

I realize some of our friends here have strange names, but we get so used to it they no longer seem like anything other than their names. Cotton. Wilder. I once worked at CBC with a guy named Havoc. Indeed, Wilder and I worked together at CBC thirty years ago. This should have been a clue about what I was getting into when two of my co-workers are named Wilder and Havoc.

Speak to you tomorrow - hope you've enjoyed the day!


Bev Stephans said...

I'm with you! I would have turned around in the driveway and headed for the hot chocolate. I'm no pioneer.

Bev Stephans

lil Gluckstern said...

I'm with Bev! I was cold enough just reading about your adventure, but I like imagining Hot Chocolate, and then St. Lucia. why would anyone name a child Havoc and the raise him? Ouch, that was bad. Take care in all that cold.


Donna K said...

I think it was an adventure that was worth it and made the hot chocolate so much better. I love the exhilirating feeling of coming in after a cold activity..I bet you do it again....ha ha Plus,it's a good story..but..but ..on the other hand, I did research the Donner party because of your title and learned about that...good thing you did NOT keep going...!

Cece said...

Just look at it this way-100 yards on snowshoes up to your thighs in snow = a good half hour on the elliptical torture machine-and you cleaned out your lungs as well. (Bet your sinuses are clean too, if your nose reacts to cold like most people's!)

Nikki B said...

Snowshoeing just sounds like too much work..I go with back-country cross-country skiing! That way you get to glide and coast periodically :-) Very fun!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Yes, snowshoeing is definitely hard work - but it sure feels great to stop. Our goal, sitting quietly in front of the fireplace, is to at least break the trail all the way around the pond. But that will have to wait until this unexpected bout of laziness passes.

Barb said...

Just catching up after awhile away, and you KNOW I laughed at tye 16,17 thingy.

My husband snowshoes and once he and our daughter went out and were thigh deep, this while she had pneumonia (didn't know it) and at about 10,000 feet altitude. I was home with the dogs and hot chocolate, LOL!

Loved you talking about dancing with idiots...happens a lot here.