Well, at some point, our weather changed to winter here in Tahoe, so I guess it's time to transition to "winter hiking" aka snowshoeing.
To be honest, winter is not my favorite season. At least, not my favorite season for outdoor activities. I think the snow is pretty, from inside my warm house! I grew up in the Midwest where winters were brutally cold, and to me, nothing was fun about being outside when it's not absolutely necessary. No matter how many layers I wore, I never seemed to stay warm. True, as kids, we spent some time outside in the winter building snowforts and snowmen, and we were lucky to have a large hill across the street where we spent many winters sledding and trying to stop (or bail) before we reached the street.
But once I reached high school, I suppose, I didn't have much interest in being outside when it was winter. I didn't really discover that I had Reynaud's Disease until I was in college. I just thought that was a normal reaction to brutally cold winters in Wisconsin. And truthfully, I don't even know when those symptoms started for me. At any rate, cold weather and I are not the best of friends and it has prevented me from taking an interest in winter activities my whole life.
Once we moved to Tahoe and I experienced a different kind of winter for the first time, where the sun is out almost every day and the temperatures are relatively mild, I started not minding being outside as much. I still don't love winter, but with the right layering, at least I can tolerate it a little more now.
So, if you've never been snowshoeing, I will tell you, it is hard work. A lot harder than hiking. I can hike 12 miles or even 14 miles in a day during the summer without too much difficulty, but strap on snowshoes and put me on powder and I'm dead after like 3 miles, or even less if I'm breaking trail. I know snowshoeing is excellent exercise, but it's so hard!
Our first snowshoe hike of this winter was up to the famous Chickadee Ridge. We broke trail a bunch of the way, so it was a lot of work. But the snow-covered scenery is so beautiful and the chickadees are so welcoming.
A short hike, but it was worth getting out for our first one of the winter.