We keep our equipment ready like I've seen the firefighters do while they workout at the gym. Boots, gloves, hats, pants and coats are all lined up by the door. When it's time to go, we can't be running around the cabin looking for equipment or we'll miss the moment. We warm up a bit, then we strap on our snowshoes and head on out.
Each adventure is a little different. The other day my brother Pete, my dad and I weren't five minutes out the door when we came upon the lair of a white chow. In order to avoid a rumble with the huge beast we had to walk across a river on a narrow, ice-covered, plank bridge in snow shoes! From there we dug in and hiked straight up a mountain to a meadow. In the meadow we practiced drills, like guessing distances to various locations. I always guess low then have to get to the targeted tree in a minimal of amount of steps. It's a real challenge, me being the one with the shortest legs. There we also play snowkopeli.
The adrenalin really gets pumping when we move into enemy territory. I can't reveal too much info about our location for obvious reasons but it is highly patrolled. From there on out we use only hand signals and always have a plan for instant cover, which usually requires rolling or jumping off the side of a mountain. Like professionals, when we have to pass a high traffic area, I take a branch and cover our tracks. It's so exciting.
On another mission this week, my sister, kitten and I were in a meadow doing drills while my mother walked on ahead. She enjoys hiking and quietly enjoying the beauty of our surroundings but pretty much ignores our snow games. My dad told us to line up, which we did except for my mother who was walking ahead. Then we were instructed to sprint as fast as we could and the first one to knock mom down would win. I ran like a snow bunny, lifting my legs as high as I could. Just as I was about to reach the target, I saw my sister one step ahead of me so I jumped and dove beautifully through the air. Unfortunately, our sassy target was onto us and took a wrestler's stance, lowering her center of gravity. She held steady, with a satisfied grin on her face as a landed next to her face first in the snow.
After snow games we all head for the sauna to relax. Our bodies get a little thrashed on our adventures but our souls are happy. There is nothing better for chasing away the winter blues.