Thursday, January 16, 2020

Snowshoeing with Burley


With lots (more than 11 feet in the mountains above me since January first alone!) of snow, Burley and I have been enjoying quite a few snowshoes through the woods. I love being able to float over the deep snow, the quiet of the winter woods, and
getting out in the fresh cold air.




Over the years I've received quite a few questions along the lines of "how do you handle being cooped up for 8 months of winter in a tiny house?" The simple answer is, we're never cooped up! No matter the weather, we spend a lot of the day outdoors. Wether walking a packed trail, snowshoeing through deep powder, shoveling snow at our house and others, shoveling roofs, etc. It's really true that there's no such thing as bad weather, just unprepared people. We both love being outside in the winter!


While we still had fun, we didn't move far or fast on this particular walk. The snow is deep and powdery enough now that modern aluminum framed snowshoes just can't handle travel through it. Leaving me still sinking to my knees with every step. And trying to not only lift your feet, but snowshoes as well through that depth, is truly exhausting in short order. Though I would have sank much further without them, it's time for the old fashioned 5 foot long wooden snowshoes to come out. A friend loaned me theirs and they are truly far superior to the modern version if the snow is deep and soft. I've since acquired an old pair of my own.




With the snow rapidly deepening, Burley, and much of the wildlife, finds traveling in the creek easier than walking through the snow. This stream, while very cold to the touch, doesn't freeze solid due a few warm spring that feed into it. No, not like fun to sit in and soak, just above freezing. 



And one night we went for a little almost full moon snowshoe through the falling snow. If there was not a solid cloud cover and snow falling, it would be much brighter, but still plenty of light to see. 


Can you pick out the two moose ahead of us in the photo below? We gave each other a wide berth.



And then there was a sunny day! In the winter here, that can be a pretty rare thing so it was nice to head out across mostly open fields and enjoy the feel of the warmth. What's your favorite activity when it's cold outside?





36 comments:

  1. I have been reading your blog - missing your youtube! These pictures are amazing! I live in Texas and would love to get out there and walk in the snow.

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  2. Great photos Ariel! I could just make out the moose.

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  3. Nowadays, my favorite winter time activity is watching your videos of you and Burley-Man doing winter 'things'. My days of shushing down the slopes on skis or slogging through the drifts on snowshoes is way in the past. Still, through your pics I do recall the silence, the sinus clearing coldness of the air, and the tranquility of the season. "Thanks for the memories". . .Terry

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  4. Greetings Ariel and Happy New Year to you and Burley, thought we were going to get snowed in yesterday, but instead of snow or rain like you would expect this time of year out here in the sand pit, it was all wind, blowing like a banshee howling in a terrible rage, it was so strong I had to lean really into it just to move around outside, not a fun thing to do with sand pelting you in the face at the same time. But that is typical out here in the sand pit, wind and more wind during these passing storms leaving no snow behind and then the storms seems like that they head your way and then dump the snow on you in WY.
    Ariel, I do have a question about your aluminum snowshoes are they the Army style or the civilian style of aluminum snowshoes? Also on your aluminum snowshoes that you swapped out for wooden ones have you ever thought about taking nylon webbing and thread and weave the webbing between the spaces on the snowshoes making more of a solid platform/foundation so the snow does not go thru?
    Or taking some flexible plastic like maybe 1/16-11/8 inch thick and then cut to shape of the snowshoes, and then drilling holes along the outside edge and using zip ties then fasten the plastic form under your snowshoes to make it solid but still lightweight for walking thru the powdery snow?
    I have the military style of snowshoes and was wondering now if they would even be of any use in the powdery snow or not now, had them for 20 some odd years now and never had a chance to use them yet but still hoping one day that I may.
    What I been doing recently outside is getting ready for a big road trip that I will be making in the middle of February and going to the Atlanta GA area to pick up a large beam scale and most likely will be going thru WY on my to the Atlanta area provided that the roads and weather permit travel during that time period. So I am trying to make the truck livable in the back end it's just a topper so my space is limited for a bed and a place for my stuff. That way I may have a place to sleep and a place out of the weather to fix my meals in as I am going across country, hate staying in hotels and the expenses that go with staying there as well.
    I enjoy watching you and Burley having fun out there in the snow, and do miss your YouTube videos, I know how concerned you are with the way the situation is now on YouTube and with the Federal Government rules, I was expecting to see a lot of the Youtube'ers drop off from YouTube, but as of yet I have not seen anyone doing so. Maybe it's a wait and see attitude with the Youtube'ers and the Federal Government and see what the Government really does if anything because of all the backlash that the Government is getting now over their lack of Not so Clear policies.
    In any case I do support your actions for not posting on YouTube, as I would do the very same thing myself if I was posting content on YouTube as I have never done so myself and don't plan on doing any posting either for that matter. Ariel I want to thank you for sharing your enjoyable posts and hope that you and Burley continue to do so.
    Stay warm, enjoy the great outdoors and happy trails till the next time. dd

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    1. I've seen the old military ones but never used them so I can't share any experience with them. The ones I've had are standard recreational models. The problem's not the webbing on the newer ones, but the volume of surface area. The largest modern ones I could find are 30 something inches long x 10 wide and weigh about the same as an old pair that are 60 x 12 inches. And in deep snow I need that surface area. Stay safe if you're driving I80 in February. That's a treacherous, windy, and icy stretch of road!

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    2. Thank you Ariel for your kind reply on the snowshoes.
      Yes I can understand that you would need a large surface area to spread out the weight over the snow, I was just asking because I do not know anything about snowshoeing other than watching you and people on YouTube. The reason that I mention the nylon webbing was that a few years ago I watched a gentleman on YouTube I think he was from Sweden and he hand made a set of snowshoes out of some 1/4 thick rebar and black nylon webbing. When he was working the webbing thru the snowshoes he weaved the webbing to where it was solid with no holes other than where the toes of his boots came to. After he finished the snowshoes he took them out and tried them out in some really deep powdery snow and it didn't appear to me that he didn't even sink into the snow no more than a couple of inches at the most as he was showing where the snow was coming up the side of his boots at the time. His snowshoes didn't appear to be all that long either, I know that they were nowhere close to 60 inches long, and I am guessing maybe 12 inches wide, anyway he didn't appear to have any issue of walking with his handmade snowshoes, and since that time I often wonder why the companies don't make snowshoes similar to what this guy did. I would think that if they would, with the nylon webbing I would think that the snowshoes would be very light in weight. Just my thoughts.
      Yes I80 would be the road I would be taking thru WY and yes, I am concern about driving thru that area in Feb. Several years ago when I first traveled thru WY during christmas time I remembered that out of all the states that I have been thru during the winter time WY was the first state that allowed driving on the Interstate that was completely covered in ice and snow with no traffic control whatsoever and these idiots driving on this ice covered road were passing me like I was standing still. Now mind me I am no stranger to icy and snowy roads, and I thought I was pushing my truck along doing 45mph tops. Funny thing was I never seen anyone that had slid off the road the entire length of WY. Anywhere else in this country and you would see dozens and dozens of vehicles that slid off and into the snow drifts/ditch. I see it all the time out here in CA and it doesn't matter if it's the first snow or the last they still end up in the snow drifts, they just don't seem to ever learn.
      So I will be keeping my eyes on the weather forecast for the middle of February and if it looks to be really bad, then I will decide to go the southern route then. But even going the southern route during winter still has weather issues to.

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    3. Yeah there are a lot of factors to consider. Primarily the kind of snow you're trying to walk through. Check out my latest post for more details on that.

      Sliding off the roads is less of a problem than the big pile ups that happen when ice or blowing snow creating white outs make this happen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZFG4CBWnyE or https://fox13now.com/2015/04/19/video-shows-devastation-from-massive-pileup-on-i-80-in-wyoming-that-injured-27-people/ I had a friend total a truck going over Elk Mountain in one of these. Thankfully he survived with no serious injuries. Best wishes for clear weather and no wind!

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    4. I figured there had to be a lot of factors to consider what type to use, just like the Arctic mukluks to the Army mickey mouse boots and everything in between for winter boots. Boots I do know something about, it's the darn snowshoes that has my chains rattled now. LOl. I will check out your latest post for sure now.
      Watching the yourtube video on WY big pile ups reminded me when I went thru WY and when I was station in Germany,and learning about the German Autobahn. The Autobahn has no speed limit and also no limit in big vehicle pile ups either. I am not aware anywhere else in the world that can have such massive pile ups in all kinds of weather as the German Autobahn something like over 250 vehicles at times. It was not uncommon when I was over there that it would take 3 to 5 days just to clear out all the vehicles. I got stuck in one when I was traveling on the Autobahn and luckily I was near an exit and got off the autobahn and was able to get back to base in time. It was pretty bad from the news something like 5 miles or more of vehicle in that pile up. It's no wonder that they have these pile ups when the drivers are driving over 140 mph and a lot more that even goes over 180 and/or whatever the speed limit is for their vehicle. I know at the time that the German Porsches could do well over 225 mph and the drivers did. I kid you not when you see the headlights in your view mirror by the time you blink the vehicle has already passed you, that's how fast these drivers were driving on the Autobahn.. The biggest danger that I seen was that the semi drivers could only go 60 mph max by law, and would line up behind one another by the dozens, and they played their dangerous games of watching in their rearview mirrors for any vehicle that was coming into view and as soon as they seen these vehicles coming at a very high speed they would whip out their trailers into the other lane. I was on the inside lane watching a Porsche pass me like I was sitting still doing about 90 at the time when I seen this truck driver whip his trailer and in a split second this Porsche driver was doing cart wheels and sliding in the middle of the autobahn heading straight towards the middle concrete retainer wall with smoke coming from all 4 wheels, I thought oh my God he is going to crash and flip, but somehow this driver was able to get his car under control he stopped for a moment or two I figured to check for any brown stains you know what I mean and then took off caught up to the semi and out the top of his Porsche he was waving his fist and although I was on the other side of the road, You could hear his voice over the sounds of the semi, and although I did not know any German, I knew exactly was he saying and what he was going to do to that truck driver as soon as he stopped his vehicle. All the time this truck driver was laughing his head off. From that experience I decided that I would do all my future driving in Germany on the normal two lane 62 mph roads, and then I had a blast while I was in Germany riding on my motorcycle all over the country I found out that motorcycles had more rights on German highways than any other motor vehicle except bicycles.
      Thank you again Ariel and I will be keeping my fingers crossed for clear skies and calm days come February. dd

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    5. I do love my custom fur Kamiks made for me by a talented native lady in Canada. She makes different styles, but this is similar to the ones she made for me - https://www.northernheartdesigns.com/product/inuit-style-kamiks?tid=1 I never have cold feet anymore and wear them all the time!

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  5. LOL, Ariel I kept misreading your title. I thought it said "snow shoveling" and thought, that's not like Ariel to misspell and post. :-) Finally after 3 times reading it I got it. The snow is beautiful. I love seeing you and Burley. Sure miss your videos. So happy to hear your were able to get your own wood snow shoes. I had Ebay pulled up to see if I could get you a pair at a reasonable price. How do you keep your feet warm? Oh, and perhaps you could post a new recipe. I just know you have something yummy up your sleeve. :-) Love to you and Burley.

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    1. It's totally like me to misspell actually. I've never been a good speller. :) I love my hand made fur boots which keep me cozy. I've had them for years now and they are the best money I ever spent on clothing. I highly recommend the work of https://www.northernheartdesigns.com who made them for me. She's usually backed up with orders for quite a few months out though, just FYI.

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    2. Thanks for the referral. I went to her site and am so impressed with her work. Love to you and Burley

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  6. Thank you for this post! It's fun to see you and know what's up in your life. We're Alpine skiers so it's off to Mt.Hood to play on the slopes. Yesterday we went on a long hike in the snow with our dog near our house. Lovely and a good workout. Getting outside the house in winter is super important, otherwise I get depressed. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Have fun! Glad to hear you're enjoying the winter.

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  7. It's always so beautiful and peaceful when you have a sunny day after a snowstorm. You really picked the perfect companion with Burley!! You two are a great pair. :)

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  8. We live near the Swiss Alps, not to make anyone jealous. Every winter we love to find a frozen lake to iceskate on. And we love to go sledding. There are some of the longest sledding paths in the world over here, thru forests and then open with dazzling views of the beautiful mountains. So good for the soul. We‘re planning to go on a Full Moon event, sledding and then cheese fondue after! 😋

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    1. WOW now thats a way to spend the winter!!!! ENJOY!!!!

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    2. That sounds like lots of fun! Enjoy.

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  9. So beautiful! Thank you for posting these emails, you always have such good content.

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  10. Hi again Ariel, was just wondering if you still have a „wishlist“ for things you could use, maybe if anyone‘s interested in sending a gift or just supporting you through a gift certificate? I thought you had this info once posted underneath a yt video, just not sure where it is now. Thanks & give Burley a big hug for me 😉

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    1. Aww you are very kind! If you really value the info you find here are very comfortable yourself, and want to help out with things around Fy Nyth, there are two ways to do so that are a huge help to us!
      My Paypal account address is Ariel.C.McGlothin@gmail.com
      And I keep a running wish list of things I could use around here at http://a.co/aSEscEa .

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  11. Thanks Ariel and Burley for giving us a glimpse into your day!!!!

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  12. Ariel, You should try to make some patterns in the snow sometime.

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    1. I thought about it. I'd have to leave Burley in the house. :)

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  13. Lovely post, Ariel! It is true what you say about bad weather vs unprepared people. We just had our first taste of snow this past couple of days, on
    Y a few inches, but enough to have a little fun with my two chocolate labs and get in a good workout shoveling tracks so we could get out of our 500 foot long, steep asphalt driveway. I can’t close without saying how terribly I miss your YouTube videos. 😢 what an unfortunate situation. Please tell me things will get better, and we will once again be able to see you there.. much respect and admiration- Trudy and Chris on the Applegate River in Southern Oregon.🌲

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  14. Beautiful pictures Ariel! snowshoeing with the full moon sounds awesome! When I move to the mountain I am definitely going to do that someday. Happy New Year to you and Burley!

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