More snowshoeing

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I'm really digging the new snowshoes.

So much in fact, that I find myself wishing for more snow - just the opposite of what I wished for last year. There's just something about being outside, walking "on" the snow, and the serene nature/feel/vibe of it all that is really appealing and enjoyable. The workout doesn't hurt, either. :-)

I decided to take a trip to the Aztalan State Park last weekend, and I'm glad I did. I had visited the park as a kid, but haven't been back to it for many, many years. It's a pretty cool place, not only for the landscape and scenery but for the story and background.

park1.jpg

I parked the Prius at the "main gate" area of the park; there are two large parking areas - one near the highway's main gate, and one closer to the Crawfish river (deeper into the park). It was about 3:00pm, the sun was setting, the air temperature was in the low teens, and I was the only person at the park. Perfect!

Aztalan is believed to have been a small community with ties back to the Aztec indians; it was inhabited around 1000AD and now serves as an "important archeological site" for Wisconsin. It supposedly contains some burial grounds and may have hosted sacrificial ceremonies back in the day... creepy. :-)

I made my way up-and-down several small hills and then trekked into a small wooded area that bordered the the Crawfish river. The snow was still "painted" to the trees, and I thought it made for a cool picture (although the phone doesn't do it justice):

park2.jpg

You can see the tracks from cross-country skiers and snowshoers - I guess a lot of other folks like to enjoy the hilly terrain here, too. The wooded area afforded several options for exploring - I walked around back there for a bit and then made my way out toward the river, which was just beginning to freeze over:

park5.jpg

I could actually hear the ice "moving" or forming in the water - there was this grumbling noise every so often, and at first it was a bit unsettling, but ultimately pretty cool. I could see tracks from where people had walked out onto the ice, which seemed completely crazy to me; it couldn't have been more than an inch or two thick...

I kept making my way along the river and eventually hit a turnaround point - there was a small stream that branched from the main river and prevented me from traveling any farther south. I turned around and made my way back to one of the large "forts" that exist on the park's property. There are remnants of a perimeter of sorts around many sections of the park; they're large wooden poles that are laid-out with complete precision:

park4.jpg

It's even more impressive when you consider those things were cut, positioned, and hoisted into place more than 1000 years ago!

I completed two "laps" of the park, which was good for about 3.5 miles or so. The sun was quickly setting after my second lap so I decided to call it a day. I managed to burn a cool 700 calories or so while out and about, which definitely helped, as I joined Dan and Tara for dinner and the Packers game later on that night. Here's my summary of the trip to Aztalan:

park3.jpg

The funny thing about snowshoeing is that despite the cold temperatures (the car showed 14F when I was done), I found myself being too warm even though I only had on a wool baselayer (fairly thin), a windproof mid-layer, a lightweight fleece, and my Columbia "shell" (no insulation). I was actually sweating pretty heavily, and normally I freeze. My cheeks were a bit cold, but everything else was too warm - go figure.

Upon returning home from my little adventure, I hit the couch and Shiloh joined me... he seemed to be pretty relaxed:

shiloh.jpg

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on December 22, 2010 2:08 PM.

Fish Fry Review: Crawfish Junction was the previous entry in this blog.

Is it 2011 already? Seriously?! is the next entry in this blog.

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