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Hyak with Josie
posted by John : January 4, 2009


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Welcome to the world of snowshoeing


It's an all-Ellis weekend! After Katherine, Paul, Josie, and Emily were exposed to the chaos of our kids in a fancy Seattle house they made the arduous journey through the snow to join us at the Hyak Sno Park for an intro to snowshoeing.

It was... well... REALLY cold. Almost dangerous cold, but not quite. (Later in the day there was a Winter Storm Warning issued for the area, but it was just a Watch while we were there.) Nonetheless, we wrapped everyone up to the point of Randy from A Christmas Story.

We started with everyone but Henry and Josie on snowshoes. The Iron Horse trail heads east from the Sno Park, but it's groomed for skiers. Luckily, a few (thousand) snowshoers had already cut a trench about a foot deep and just wide enough for the Incredible Pulk.

It was the first time for Paul and Katherine on snowshoes, but Clara demonstrated proper style by charging ahead or lagging behind so she could run to catch up. She favored the powder rather than the trench and was light enough to not sink more than an inch or two. Every time I stepped out of the trench I was almost up to my knees.

Lilly wasn't as enthusiastic and eventually gave up her snowshoes for a ride in the pulk. Later she'd decide she was done with sliding down in the pulk and would walk in the trench. (Wait, if she can walk in the trench why are the rest of you wearing snowshoes?)

About half a mile down the trail we decided it was time to turn back. It was probably another half mile before we'd get a view of Lake Keechelus and the view, with clouds everywhere, probably wouldn't have been quite worth it.

Back at the sledding hill we ran into Michelle and George (and their kids) playing on the kiddie slope. (Michelle used to work with me at the Seattle Times.) We took a few runs on the little hill, but when the littlest ones (Henry and Josie) needed to get out of the cold they headed back to the car. I took Clara and Lilly to the big hill for a few trips down at high speed. George and his son came along.

Bennett is the same age (roughly) as Clara, but he was way more adventurous as he headed down the slope. Clara was content to slide down in a straight line in the noop sled, but he was spinning and flying down. Turns out girls are smarter than boys. Just don't tell Amy.

Total distance, rewarded by hot chocolate and chili back at home was about 0.9 miles and a whopping five feet of gain as measured by the GPS. Of course, that might have just been me putting the GPS on the ground at some point.

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