A couple of weeks ago, I learned a valuable lesson. Contrary to what I have always believed, snow can be fun.
I went snowshoeing with my husband at Midway’s Soldier Hollow in Heber Valley. I had never done it before, but my experience was delightful.
With snowshoes on, trudging through snow became easy. Walking uphill was a breeze. The sun shone through the pine trees and snow sparkled all around us. We saw deer tracks along the trail, and birds flitting back and forth through the trees overhead. Except for an occasional cross-country skier whizzing past us, it was serene, quiet and relaxing.
Throughout my life, I have only lived in the states of Montana and Utah, which means I am no stranger to snow. Although I only lived the first few years of my life in Montana, my parents have told stories about winters so cold that their cars wouldn’t start unless they had a heater plugged into the engine. They also couldn’t leave the house unless they were dressed like Ralphie’s little brother from “A Christmas Story.”
When I moved to Utah as a young child, I enjoyed playing in the snow during winter. Building snowmen, snow forts and getting into snowball fights with my next-door neighbors are some of the greatest memories of my childhood. But then I grew up and found out that snow just wasn’t for me.
A junior high school field trip to Snowbasin Ski Resort to learn how to ski left me scarred for years. Not only did I fail to grasp the concept of strapping thin rails to my feet, I couldn’t figure out how to successfully hop off the chair lift at the top without falling into a crumpled heap.
Learning how to drive on ice-covered roads during a blizzard was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I even backed into a snowbank once, and trust me, my driver’s education instructor wasn’t pleased. I can still hear him screaming “Brake! Brake!” After I got my license, I ice skated — in my truck — into a pole on the side of the road. I subsequently had to use my next four paychecks to cover the repairs.
By the time I was 18, I was fed up with snow. As soon as I graduated from high school, I left for St. George, where the only snow you’ll see is a light dusting that quickly disappears. I spent four glorious years basking in the sun there. But due to changes in my life — like getting married and finding a great job — I moved back to northern Utah.
But a couple of weeks ago, my disdain for winter weather came to an end. I’m not saying that I’ll gleefully speed down SR-36 during a blizzard, or build a snow fort in my front yard, but I’ve learned to appreciate that annoying white stuff.
I was amazed that snow, something I had come to dread each winter, could be fun. Now that I’ve had my first taste of snowshoeing, I don’t think I’ll ever again hear myself say that I hate snow. In fact, I wish I had more free time so that I could snowshoe every weekend.