Bags of Bran

I Kissed Winter Hello
January 16, 2014, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Biography, Personal Adventures

Recently a local author wrote a particularly apt piece about his embrace of Minnesota winter. According to his article, he used to hibernate during the shorter days; now he bundles up and stalks about like a sultan in the bluster and snow, treasuring the transformation of the world under the iron hand of winter. He has so embraced winter that he has actually considered ice fishing, which, like dentistry, I would only endure under duress. However, I think he has lyrically opened a world of adventure to his readers.

I would only add a set of snowshoes into his adventure kit and the floodgates would really open up. You can go where no one else would bother with a decent set of snowshoes. Those three-foot drifts between yourself and the open part of the frozen lake are relatively easy on snowshoes. Icy climbs? Steel cleats. Tangled brush hidden beneath the snow? You float right on top of it. Indignant walrus chasing you through the woods? Snowshoes allow you to be fairly nimble: you’ll evade that lumbering walrus in the trees.

Additionally, a set of poles makes unsure, unsteady, steep terrain much easier, as well as easing the load on an iffy back. Plus, if you encounter a mettlesome Spaniard who’s itching to fence, your poles might help you preserve your honor. En garde!

Finally, I would recommend a headlamp because night is long and wonderful. Bright ones are fun, but you really don’t need much light: in fact, using a low setting or switching it off at night and tromping by ambient light affords a new perspective on the world. You’d be surprised how much you can and can’t see by the purple glow of metrolight. Moonlight is utterly sublime. If you live in the wilderness, I would suggest having a brighter light so you can dazzle the wolves and mountain cats that want to feed you to their cubs.


The left one is there on the left beside the right one


Lots of sunsets


When the shrubs get all pillowy…


When the vertical trees have snow stuck to their south sides you know it was a good storm


Twilight in the metrowoods


Gloam. This is a fairly long exposure (hence the blur), but you can see that the metrolight does a pretty good job.


You can just barely see the glow of the sky through the tips of the trees. Those are fat bike tracks in the snow.

Go thou and do likewise.


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