Welcome to this Thursday's edition of Sarah and Cory's Hiking Blog! It's a doozy.
I had been browsing Pinterest, which I'm sure none of you do, and saw this delightful photo of snowshoes. They were planted in the snow beside a lovely little log with a camp stove warming chocolate for fondue and a bottle of wine. 3 of my favorite things. Winter fun chocolate, wine. I sent the photo to my husband and he determined that for Valentine's day we would do just that. I started looking for a cabin to stay in overnight in a location that would encourage snowshoeing and a rustic feel. Boy, did I ever find one! River's Edge Bible Camp has a quaint little cabin, a 20-40 minute hike from the main buildings. Amenities include foamy mattresses on bunk beds and firewood.
Thanks to our recent chinooks, there wasn't enough snow to snowshoe. Not at all. We chose to just hike down, but tied the shoes to our sled anyway, in case the situation was different down at the bottom. It wasn't. There was more snow, but not enough to warrant snowshoes. We dropped off our stuff and found that there was more provided in the cabin than we realized! A propane stove and lantern (with propane) and lawn chairs and a table. Once set up, I pulled out a snack and a book and parked myself beside the river for a bit.
It's been a long time since I have read these books and it sure felt right reading them out here. After a bit, it was hiking time. I didn't really need my backpack, but who cares!
Lovely afternoon. I did not know I would love winter camping! I mean, it was hardly winter. It was above zero degrees. Hours later, after drying out wet wood and building a smoky fire, we dined on Sapporo Ichiban noodles, and had chocolate fondue for dessert. Win! Yes, we had wine with our noodles. Classy, I know.
We enjoyed our quietest evening in a long time. Literally silent, aside from the crackling of the fire. In the morning we had a handful of dry wood left. Just enough to get the coffee water to steam. It was now February 15th and Sabrina's 5th birthday. There wasn't time to dry out more wood in the hopes that it would get hot enough to boil water. We relented and packed up our sled. Next time I hope we have bigger packs. The sled was ridiculous and unbalanced. However, it served its purpose. Home we went; well, out for breakfast first. It was delicious. Breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out. Eggs Benny at Hunters Country Kitchen in Carstairs. Delish!
What we didn't know, is that we were also bringing home and unwanted guest. It's February. It's insect free hiking season, right? Nope. Think again. Ticks. Not sure where he came from or where he was hiding, but I found him on Dana's back 2 days later. It appeared to have recently attached itself, not engorged or anything. Still really gross. I have never even seen a tick before! I didn't know exactly what to do, but I knew that removing him in any more than one piece wasn't good either. It was after midnight when I saw it on Dana. I sent him to the hospital and they took good care of him. He was home within an hour. Since then I have learned that ticks up here rarely carry Lyme, but they do carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which cannot be treated until it presents.
Moral of the story: I am still going hiking and winter camping and summer camping and skiing and snowshoeing and stuff. But I'm going to start checking for ticks and I'm going to learn how to remove them.
Sarah and Cory have a passion for hiking and being out in nature. There is no feeling quite the same as standing on the top of a mountain, sitting by a hidden lake, the jelly legs at the bottom of a steep descent, the sun on your face or the wind in your hair. Even our children have come to love it!