Full disclosure, the first winter after we retire I plan on spending three months living in New Zealand. Our winter is their summer and one of my dreams is to live out of a camper van while touring around both islands. Even with everything I’m about to write, that is still my plan đŸ˜‰

Gavin joined Becky and I for our snowshoeing this morning and we had a great time while Dominic snow boarded. I’ve written about the peacefulness of being in the woods the past few days so I’ll do my best to take this in a slightly different direction. What I enjoyed the most about snowshoeing and the rest of the day was appreciating winter.

For much of my life winter has been my least favorite season. I sometimes go stir crazy and spend time waiting for it to be over. With everything going on this year and with my focus on being outside I’ve really found this to be the winter in which I’ve fallen back in love with it. This probably sounds sick, but I’m thinking it might take over the number three slot from spring (fall being in first, summer a close second).

In the woods today I kept smiling as I drew fresh full breaths of cold air through my nose. The blanket of fresh snow covering everything accentuated so many features. The occasional unfrozen spring water caught our attention and really stuck out. The frost and snow covering the milkweed pods caused me to stop and take a moment to take in the view. All the branches were covered with a light coating of snow and sometimes when the wind would blow just right there’d be a little mini avalanche of snow falling from limb to limb until it hit the ground.

As if that wasn’t quite enough Becky had an awesome idea. After snowshoeing and a quick lunch we headed out to the same waterfalls we visited only seven months ago. The road into the park was almost impassable and completely void of any fresh tracks. We had the entire park to just the three of us and went from observation deck to observation deck taking in the spectacular sights from each. Have you ever seen a waterfall spouting the water through ice? It was wild!!! The ice formations around the water were so surreal and the snow in the surrounding forest valley enhanced the mind blowing view. That is a sight I’ll keep treasured in my memories forever.

Once we realized that we were only a few miles from Lake Superior we hit the road and hiked out to the beach we’d gone to this summer. The sand was gone and replaced with ice and snow. The waves slammed the shore and launched gallons of water into the air like we’d seen in the blowholes in Grand Cayman and Maui. The entire landscape was so frozen, wintery, and beautiful.

Only a year or two ago I would’ve groaned about it being winter. Over the past few days, especially today, I’m grateful for taking time to remember all the reasons I should pause to appreciate winter instead. What an awesome season that is full of its own forms of beauty!


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