Over the past few days I've spent a great deal of time outside enjoying two extremes of winter weather. It started on Friday when the temperature soared into the upper 40s, allowing me to do my first outdoor ride since November. I didn't do anything overly special, just went to Prospect Park for several loops to enjoy feeling the wind and sun on my face. Normally I'm bored to tears in the park, but on Friday my mind was totally at ease and the time flew by.
The weather was even more beautiful on Saturday but I had my Computrainer class and felt I should go. I work harder in that class than I ever will on my own so it was worth the sacrifice. After the class I made up for it with another short outdoor ride. It's a gift to be outside on a bike the second week of January. I squeezed in a final ride today before the temperature drops and rain comes.
But yesterday was all about enjoying more traditional winter conditions with a hike in Minnewaska Park near New Paltz. I've never hiked in the snow so it was a fun, new experience. We recently bought snowshoes but unfortunately the warm weather made the conditions less than ideal so they will have to wait for another time. We hiked four hours total, mostly on trails around Lake Awosting. The elevation was minimal so it was a good introduction to snow hiking and easy on my feet. It's very similar to walking in sand so it's more challenging than a regular hike, but they held up well and despite some moments of being chilly, I loved every moment of it. The snow started to fall toward the end and it looked magical. We get so caught up in complaining about winter weather that we so often miss the positives. Winter can certainly get old, especially when you're on your hundredth trainer ride, but finding a new way to enjoy it has me actually looking forward to snow. I need to use those new snowshoes after all.