County is one of those summer destinations coveted by so many
Chicagoans. But until late last year, I never considered heading up
to the Wisconsin pennisula during the winter months. Why drive five
hours to find a place that is even colder and snowier than
Because it's so beautiful once you get there. And because of the
Bear in mind that I am not a winter person (in case you hadn't
already guessed). Just ask my friend Susy, who called while I
was getting ready to head out on my snowshoe adventure.
"Where are you?" she asked.
"In Door County, getting ready to go snowshoeing," I
"No, really. Where are you?" she responded.
Really. I was in Wisconsin and I was going snowshoeing. And I
would go again. In fact, I may go again in February in northern
Why? Because it's magical. Unlike the snows that fall in Chicago
and immediately turn into brown slush waiting for the next bus to
splash all over you, the snow in Door County is hushed and
I was visiting as a guest of the Door
County Visitor Bureau when I first strapped on the snowshoes. We
rented our snowshoes at Nor Door Sport & Cyclery in Fish Creek ($4
for the first hour, $15 for the day) and headed into the freshly
fallen snow at Pennisula State Park.
First, let me bust a couple of possible misconceptions about
1. These are not your grandparents' snowshoes. Don't think, as I
did, "tennis rackets strapped to my feet." Think "high-tech chrome
frames attached to your toes."
2. It's not hard to walk in snowshoes, although it is a good
workout. It took me a few fumbling steps to get used to the feeling
of walking with the wide stride necessary when you have chrome
frames attached to your toes. But once I did, I felt like I was on
top of the world.
3. You don't walk on top of the snow, but you do sink less than
you would if you didn't have chrome frames attached to your toes. I
admit, I found this a little disappointing. I had envisioned myself
gliding across the top of the snow, leaving barely a trace
But it is no misconception that snowshoeing is a wonderful way
to commune with nature after a big snow.
I had a moment of weakness during which I actually considered
buying snowshoes for my family and me. Then I realized that walking
around the streets of Chicago with snowshoes strapped to my feet
would look just as silly as wearing that Mexican sombrero or
Hawaiian shirt in Chicago. And they would make it harder to get out
of the way when the bus starts spraying that muddy water
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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