Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Walking on Wide Feet . . .

When you live Up North the winters can be pretty long and very cold. It is easy to understand why some people count the days until they can go outside again without their bones freezing.

Not me - I embrace winter! Winter does not inhibit my desire to be outdoors doing things - anything! Boredom doesn't happen because there is nothing to do. Boredom happens because you choose to do nothing.

But sometimes the snow is just too deep for hiking and the slick groomed cross country trails just don't seem to be calling my name.

This is where snowshoeing comes in! There is nothing more peaceful than hiking through the woods on snowshoes. It is just you, the crisp air and the sound of the crunching snow beneath your feet. Breathing in the fresh cool air makes me feel so alive. And I am lucky to live where just out my door there are endless acres of woods ready to be trekked. I can literally walk out my door, throw on my snowshoes and head out for an adventure.

When I think back to some of my favorite memories over the past few years times spent snowshoeing always come to mind.

I started stomping the woods as a young girl on a pair of  Iverson's - the real deal! Iverson’s have been hand crafting the finest traditional wood snowshoes for over 50 years. They’re made in the USA, right here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and you can trust them when they say they know snow.

It started back in 1959 when Clarence Iverson began building his snowshoes for the State of Michigan. His premise was simple; reduce expended energy by walking on top of the snow, not through it. His designs provided maximum weight distribution for optimum flotation. The news soon spread of the Iverson snowshoe and demand expanded the company into the consumer market.

These days I trek using Atlas shoes. There are alot of reasons for the switch - the greatest being more stability following a serious accident that required total reconstruction of my right leg. The lightweight aluminum frames with the addition of Spring-Loaded™ Suspension and tempered steel All-Trac™ toe crampons have made all the difference in my ability to safely traverse the ledges near our home given my physical limitations.

And while nothing is certain except change itself - somethings will never change. I still wear my Steger mukluks that were custom-made for me with pride in Ely, Minnesota. Where they also know a bit about snow!

Steger Moosehide Mukluks are twice as warm and less than half the weight of traditional winter boots. They are made in the Northern Cree Indian style and have durable, flexible, treaded rubber soles. The company uses the best moosehides available, which means that my mukluks have remained supple and flexible through many years of winter woods stomping!

When cabin fever starts to get to you this winter don't just sit inside and choose to do nothing. 
Get outside and as the Iverson motto states - Seek Wilderness!

No comments: