By A R Mallett
Our most recent Christmas Day was a little different. We had our Christmas meal the night before because we knew that, on the day, we would be eager to play with our new toys. Yes, Santa brought us snowshoes! Modern snowshoes are made of aluminum and plastic, unlike the rawhide laced wooden frames of yesteryear. They have metal cleats to prevent slipping on slopes. Our shoes were brightly colored and came with poles similar to those used by skiers , with a comfortable handgrip, a wrist strap and a basket to stop them digging too deeply into the snow.
Susanville looked like a Christmas card scene, with snow piled high and still falling. We parked at the Susanville Railroad Depot on Richmond Road, and put on our shiny new snowshoes. It wasn’t difficult to get the shoes and the poles adjusted to fit comfortably. More challenging was our initial foray from the car to the Bizz Johnson Trail. You have to remember that your feet are two or three times longer than normal, and wider. We soon became accustomed to the feet apart stance. Turning is the fun bit – trying not to stand on one shoe with the other. I only had one fall from tangled feet and that was in soft snow so no harm was done.
We trekked up the trail, the only intrepid adventurers out there. The falling snow muffled all sound apart from our laughter and the soft crunch of snowshoes breaking the pristine white surface. It was a serene and exhilarating experience; one I look forward to repeating many times. We may be the only people hoping for more snow so we can snowshoe locally.
Lassen Lands and Trails Trust www.llttweb.org