Back to Winter: Snowshoeing in Parc de la Jacques Cartier

I arrived in Washington D.C. yesterday to wonderful weather, and today was no different. It was nice to break free of the sweatshirts and long-sleeves and walk the streets in a T-shirt and jeans. As I was grocery shopping in Columbia Heights, I met a man who told me he thought I was lucky to be visiting on this particular week, and we talked about how nice it is that the time has changed and that all signs are pointing to an early spring.

Snowshoeing in Jacques Cartier Park.

Today was a catch up day for me – I’ve been writing my tail off – but tomorrow I will launch my exploration of the Nation’s capital. The afternoon’s agenda is TBD, however it’s supposed to be close to 80-degrees and I know for sure I’ll be headed out for dinner and drinks tomorrow night, so stay tuned.

The man I mentioned got my wheels turning – spring may be on its way, no joke (check this out), and one of the first things that came to mind was how short and sweet the winter season was for me, how I feel like I got the perfect amount of it. I moved from California to the east coast at the end of December, and trips to Canada and Syracuse allowed me to tackle the cold on my own terms. I enjoyed lit fireplaces in my lodging, drinking caribou at the Quebec City Winter Carnival, and sleeping on a sheet of ice at the Ice Hotel.

I was also able to go snowshoeing while in Quebec City at the Parc de la Jacques Cartier. It’s one of the many great things about the city – the proximity to the outdoors and the ease with which you can escape into the wilderness (something I discussed on a recent radio appearance).

At one point, when we were all standing on the bank of the frozen river, a woman in the group suggested we all be quiet. No birds chirping, no human life – a silence that is the definition of the phrase peace and quiet.

I had never been snowshoeing before and I must say it was really fun, and any fans of hiking should have this activity on their winter wishlist. I had two favorite parts, one being the beauty of the snow on the limbs of the trees, the other running down a hill in the snowshoes. Without them you’d fall on your face, but with them you soar down the hill, the snow no longer able to hold you back.

Other times we used the shoes as skis, sliding down steep sections of ice and avoiding impact with trees. Deep breaths brought in the crisp, fresh air, the scent of the pine trees there but not necessarily overbearing, like a subtle note in a fine wine.


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