Last Saturday consisted of: a sleep-in and a delightfully leisurely breakfast of crepes & “eggy-in-a-basket”; coffee brewed by AeroPress (our usual) and conversation; a nice long stretch on the living room floor (a new wellbeing habit we are trying to incorporate into our ever-changing daily routine); a podcast during our drive to the trail and this—an 11km round-trip jaunt into the woods.
The temperatures were nothing unusual: -24ºC at its coldest, and -12ºC at its warmest. The sun was out and we knew it was going to be a blissful day in the mountains. We got to the trailhead at 11:30am and powered our way in, the snow making our work a little harder (for every full step, prepare to slide back an eighth of it). We had layered up but it didn’t take long for us to peel off our puffy jackets; in retrospect, we probably could have started our hike wearing only our first layers. Be bold, brave the cold, as they say—sweating in the mountains when temperatures are well below zero can kill you, for your sweat can freeze and lead to hypothermia.
We’ve both done this same hike during the summer, but never the winter, and it proved to be a wonderland of snow-covered evergreens; large, marshmallow pillows of white resting atop what would be shrubbery in the warmer months. As we got closer to our lunch spot, gaps in the trees gave away unbeatable views of the mountains. When we eventually got there, the familiar mountain ranges were a sight to behold; the sun glancing off the snow and the pools of clear, deep blue water, not frozen over due to the bubbling activity of underground springs hidden by thick layers of mud at the bottom of the ponds. We picked a bench to enjoy our snacks and our coffee, trying to warm up and face away from the wind. It’s days like this that pulled me to stay in Canada, and I can say without a doubt that there truly is no place like home.