While the title could be an oxymoron on occasion, it wasn’t this past weekend. Yesterday, my husband and I finally used the snowshoes we received for Christmas. We accompanied our daughter and the kids to a Prince Edward Island resort where cross country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing and skating are offered, with equipment rental possible.
There were few people there and brief visits inside used Covid precautions but outside was safe and without masks.
Our daughter and the children rented snowshoes but my husband and I tried ours. Snowshoes have come a long way since the old wooden ones we used years ago. Our new ones are light weight aluminum and came with poles as well, a great bonus for two seniors. However poles go with snowshoes these days unlike years ago.
These new snowshoes have metal spikes on the bottom, making it easy to walk over icy surfaces. It was common to find oneself sliding down an incline with the old wooden ones.
The children enjoyed snowshoeing. The girls had tried them at school, where class sets are used by the various classes in turn. The youngest, a boy of three, tried them for the first time and enjoyed the experience. He took great pleasure in arriving back at the starting point before Nanny and Poppy, who were taking up the rear.
Next came skating. Neither my husband nor I are skaters but our daughter and the girls are. Their brother had a pair of pink skates handed down from his sisters. Remember the days when the colour of clothes and such for boys never would have been pink? Thankfully those days are gone, at least until he starts school.
Learning to skate now is facilitated by a skate aid made of PVC which the child holds and pushes forward, supporting himself as he takes the first tentative strides. Our grandson loved the experience, helped by his mother and me at different times. He laughed with every fall and giggled his way over the ice.
The girls were tentative initially with this first skate of the season. By the time we left, they were reacquainted the the thin blades and glided over the ice with confidence. There are a number of outdoor rinks around Summerside which are maintained by the city this winter. The children will take advantage of them.
We brought a snack of granola bars, hot chocolate and marshmallows for the kids and a thermos of tea for the adults. Everyone enjoyed the warm beverage during an afternoon outdoors.
On our way to the resort, we passed an area where people were scraping the snow off a pond, preparing for a family skate. We recently saw a man and two children at Rollings Pond near North Rustico. A number of others were preparing to join them.
We had a great time with our family. While it was -8 C, it wasn’t windy and we dressed warmly. It was good to be out in nature, enjoying some physical activity. There is more snowshoeing in our future.