Gearing up for Shoe Year’s Day

My legs hurt a little this morning as I walked from my car to the office.  The culprit? My new snowshoes.

I’ve been an avid cross-country skier for most of my life, but living in Detroit doesn’t afford me the opportunity to pull out the skis as much as I would like to.  I’m not the best at blazing trails and often, the trails that have been marked end up running over pavement at some point, forcing me to take off the skis so I can cross the road without damaging my gear.

The snowshoes fit better into my urban existence, anyway. They take up a lot less room in my car, which now holds a baby seat. The snow on Belle Isle is rarely in good skiing condition, being a little icier than I’d like. And it’s easier to teach someone how to walk on snowshoes than it is to cross country ski in them.  Needless to say, I was excited to see a new pair under our Christmas tree this year.

Hiking to the William Livingstone Lighthouse on Belle Isle last night with my dog was a worthy first test of the new gear.  Hiking in snowshoes requires a different motion than walking, so I wasn’t surprised by my soreness this morning. But it sure beat trying to make it in just my hiking boots, and I can’t wait to strap those shoes back on and hike another part of the island.

If the weather forecast holds, I’m also looking forward to heading to a state park on Shoe Year’s Day.

Shoe Year’s Day is January 1, 2013 and is brought to you by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Recreation and Park Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (and just so you know, I’m not just saying I want to go because it’s a company sponsored event – I’m really looking forward to this one!).  The nine participating locations have special events planned for the day, each designed to help you enjoy Michigan state parks all year long.  Many of the them will have snowshoes available for rent as well, so you can try your hand at snowshoeing, even if Santa didn’t hide a pair under your tree this year.

What winter sports do you enjoy participating in?

Photo credit: steveburt1947



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