Before the hike, I went through my usual get-ready-for-a-hike ritual, including the one that always gives me trouble. Deciding what to wear. I decided I’d dress warmly because there was a brisk wind and the top of a mountain can turn a brisk wind into a really icy brisk wind. So I wore long underwear, blue jeans, snow pants, tee shirt, shirt with hood, winter coat, toque and took two pairs of mitts. I was ready.
However, I don’t worry about a dress code. Except for one. I never, ever wear powder blue anything. It’s my one haberdashery no-no.
A friend and I met another fellow snowshoer at the local coffee shop. The fellow snowshoer, who had a car, suggested we go in his vehicle. We agreed.
So, I off-loaded my equipment and discovered that one of my snowshoes was missing. I now only had a pair and a half snowshoes. Some ass_)(* had scoffed one from the back of my truck.
Also, as we drove towards Smokey Mountain, I began to worry that I’d forgotten to off-load my tuque and mitts from my truck. I thought I had, but where were they? I’d have to wait, I guessed, until we stopped before I could look for them.
And during the drive to the trail, I was beginning to regret the three layers of lower extremity clothing. My arse was sweating like a proverbial pig. That problem was solved when I discovered, after saying, “I think my butt has a fever,” that my fellow snowshoer and driver had turned on the seat warmer.
He turned it down and problem solved.
The store is a great place to get a snack, buy gas or other provisions, plus they sell my book, “White Eyes.” So, in my book, pardon the pun, the owners are even greater.
Hallelujah! The mitts were in the back seat and I found I had been sitting on my very warm tuque. I didn’t have to buy anything. Except a hot-dog.
However, as I walked towards the store with the good news, I encountered the owner coming out of the store. He was carrying a pair of snowshoes. They were for me. How nice could he be?
I whispered to myself, “I love Cape Breton.”
However, another problem came up. You see, I often hang my sunglasses from the top of my sweat shirt or stuff them down over the top of my tuque. During how many hikes have I found my sunglasses lying on my truck’s roof, or had them presented to me in person, when a hiker discovered them lying on the ground, after hearing me whining about losing them?
Being a sweeper can be another sign of age and sometimes I’m so good at being a sweeper that I end up sweeping for a second hiking group when they snowshoe by me in a flurry of snow-shuffling and discussing.
However, my fellow sweeper discovered a tiny valley in the snow. It was low enough that she could go down into it and have some privacy. So, she entered this icy loo while I trekked down the trail. However, I hadn’t trekked very far before I heard the sweeper-lady hollering for help.
I turned around and snowshoed quickly back. There was my fellow sweeper, trying to climb out of the wee valley. I used my ski pole to help her out. You see, what had looked like a little valley was actually a wee water-filled sink-hole. It had looked so innocent in its shiny snow coat.
Later, when we got back to the parking lot and I opened the trunk of the car to deposit my snowshoes and gear, I found my sunglasses. Lying on my one lonely snowshoe.
Rub it in, will you?
In summary, the day had been invigorating and fun and on the way back I was happy to have my bum warmed to a crisp.