Cre-e-ak. Cre-e-ak. My ski poles added overtones of haunted house to the crunch of my snowshoes.
Tears trickled down my cheeks and my nose ran incessantly thanks to the 18 degree temperature. As the wind tried to instantly freeze the tears on my cheeks, I wondered if it would be possible to lose layers of skin when the frozen tears were scrubbed off. I made sure to wipe mine off with my mittens before that was even a remote possibility.
As I neared my turnaround point, out of the silence came Karen and her team of eight dogs. I stepped off the trail and they slipped by me, too quick for me to even think of getting my camera out.
The wind has been blowing, again, for the past couple of days, but I desperately needed to get out for some fresh air and exercise. I had another motive for being out there today. Physical therapy for my shoulder has been going very well. I have almost full range of motion again, which is wonderful. After a year of not doing anything with my arm, however, I still have a long way to go to regain normal strength. I'm already getting bored with my therabands and dumbbells; I really need to find an activity I can do that will also help me get stronger.
I told my physical therapists that I want to be able to swim and ski when I'm done with PT. Today's snowshoe mini-trek was an attempt to see how ably I can use ski poles. I learned that it'll be awhile before I'm able to cross-country ski (hopefully this spring), but given how tired my shoulder was after just two miles, I should probably be out there several times a week using my poles while snowshoeing.
As I returned home, I noted that the 3:00 sun on the mountains already had a tinge of alpenglow. My butt cheeks whined for a soak in the hot tub, but with the wind at my back now, the rest of me enjoyed the crisp air and sense of satisfaction obtained by good exercise.