It can't be a surprise that the official Moosefish cause is breast cancer (the eradication of, duh). Amy's walked more than 120 miles in two 3Day efforts and raised more than $15,000. The rest of us have been a tad more modest, but we've walked in the Race for the Cure (we don't run) and cheered more than any manly man should (especially when wearing a pink boa).
So when the Romp to Stomp snowshoe event finally came to Washington we signed everyone up. Never mind it is sponsored by Tubbs, the nemesis of Atlas snowshoe wearers everywhere (including us), it was a chance to wear pink in the snow without being ridiculed by all the manly snowshoe folks I usually hang out with.
Team Moosefish was all of us, of course. Plus Michelle, Daryl, Lex, and Jack. Plus Josie. And with a race-day addition we had Lynda, too. Plus the Pulk of Inconsistency and Daryl's psychedelic sled.
But that's too many so Amy opted to stay home. Nah! She was on her death bed at home. "Snowed in for the Cure" to use the event's excuse for registering, but not showing up.
Of course there was nobody who was really snowed in. In fact, we couldn't have asked for a better day. It felt like it was in the mid 40s as we assembled miles from the starting line. I threw Henry on my shoulders, the pulk under my arm, and the girls carrying their own gear as we wandered around the Hyak parking lot looking for the right place to be. (Turns out Josie had saved a parking spot right up front, but of course we didn't know that.)
We got to the starting line as the pep talk was wrapping up and the vast horde headed east on the Iron Horse. After the requisite group photo and a couple of pauses for the event photographers (we were featured a couple of times in the event's Facebook photo album) we started on our 5k journey under the bright sun.
Imagine, if you will, 700+ snowshoers, many who had never snowshoed before, a couple pulling sleds with kids on them, all pounding what little snow remained (as thin as six inches in some spots) into little more than a white discoloration. Now imagine you were a regular user of the Iron Horse and you were already displeased at the increased rates for your Sno Park pass and the paltry season. No wonder you'd be pissed at all the interlopers on "your" trail.
Still, that doesn't really excuse the snide comments, the reckless behavior, or the FAILURE TO APOLOGIZE WHEN YOU RUN OVER A FIVE YEAR OLD BOY! Yeah, that's right. A hot shot skier was blasting through the crowds and ran over poor Jack who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The skier got up and took off.
And the ski patrol folks did nothing except tell us we needed sunglasses. (Well, duh!)
Aside from that, it was a great time. I don't usually get out (a) in the daylight or (b) in the sun or (c) on flat terrain with the kids so it was a break from the usual. Too bad Amy wasn't there. I bet even she'd have forgotten to be cold.
After all the effort to get all of us 2.5k out and 2.5k back we were spent. Michelle and Daryl found a nice spot and settled down for lunch. I dumped my kids to retrieve the truck and move it into the Sno Park for easier loading. Huff and puff up the hill, past the closing ceremonies, give my bib number and raffle tickets to Josie and Lynda, and move the truck. Half way through the process of loading the truck I get a call from Josie. AT&T makes sure I can't really tell what she's saying or if she's serious, but it sure sounds like I've won something. Sweet.
No... a headlamp would be sweet. Four new sets of snowshoes are beyond sweet. More like SWEET! Too bad the season is pretty much over. Maybe we'll get some snow yet.
Oh yeah. It was an adventure so... 3.7 miles and 450 feet of gain.
And if you want to see the sweet new 'shoes just stop the guy with the Tubbs sticker on his pulk.