Some of you have been out a few times with Stephanie on snowshoe outings in the HorneLake area this winter.Elliot Lake has lots of trails to explore, and with snow on the ground, getting around is easier in places when you put on snowshoes.
Snowshoeing has become very popular these days.This winter sport is inexpensive - all you need to buy are a pair of snowshoes.If you have difficulty with balance, you can also purchase an inexpensive pair of ski poles to help you get up the hills.As well, you can go just about anywhere.You are not restricted to established resorts unlike downhill skiing that cost big bucks.
Any existing hiking trail will do, or you can go cross country on uncharted territory.Just remember to bring a map and compass.
Snowshoes have changed over the years.The traditional snowshoes were made of white ash wood laced with rawhide webbing in a variety of styles and shapes.Then experiments were made in the 1970's with plastic snowshoes which, unfortunately, didn’t last long.Shortly after, aluminum framed snowshoes with aircraft cable lacing appeared, used mostly by Canada’s soldiers in the Canadian Armed Forces that proved to be very durable and light.
In the last decade, new age snowshoes appeared on the market with solid neoprene decking attached to tubular aluminum frames.Equipped with racheting bindings, the same kind found on snowboards, they are easy to put on, are light, and provide great floatation in deep snow.A crampon mounted on the bottom provides traction on slopes.
If you like to give snowshoeing a try, join Stephanie when she organizes snowshoe outings at Club 90.The Coureur de Bois Hiking Club also organizes snowshoe outings at least three days a week. If you want to go with the Coureur de Bois Hiking Club, they meet at 10:00 am Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on the UpperPlaza across the road from Club 90.See you on the trails.
We are in the depths of winter when many people hibernate and can’t wait for spring.Others however, are making the most of it by having fun under the sky despite the cold weather.When we have bright sunny days, common in February, and the days are getting longer, why not plan a mid-winter campfire and barbecue.
I had seen quite a few people head out to the lakes for a cookout, even on the coldest day.All it takes to have a comfortable cookout lunch is some nice weather, lots of firewood and plenty of food and drinks.
Any food that you cook on the barbeque during summer can be done in winter as well.Steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers, shishkabobs, you name it, would be perfect fare for your winter cookout.Add salads, potatoes and casseroles and you have a delicious, balanced meal.Top it off with dessert:cake, mousse or whatever, you will have a meal to remember.It seems that cooking your meal outdoors make it taste better.
Perhaps you may want the evening campfire out on the shoreline.Getting there is easier; just cross the frozen surface to a favorite spot out of the wind, dig yourself a firepit, gather up the firewood and get a nice bonfire going.Now cook up some hot chocolate and roast some marshmallows.If you’re musically inclined, have a campfire sing-along.Pretty soon, you want to do more winter cookouts and campfires.And before you know it, it would soon be spring.
Christmas may be over and many people dread the long winter that follows.However, there is another time of celebration coming.Many communities organize winter carnivals to get family and friends together for another round of celebrations, parties, potluck dinners, outdoor and indoor fun, enjoying favorite winter sports and other games.
Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa are home to the largest winter carnivals in Ontario.The Bon Soo Carnival in Sault Ste. Marie and Winterlude in Ottawa both take place during the first full week of February, beginning February 4 and running through to February 13.There are all sorts of activities for young and old.The fun includes building snow sculptures, ice skating – Ottawa has 8 kilometres on the Rideau Canal, pancake breakfasts, hockey games, concerts, comedy, outdoor games, relay races, sleigh rides and more.Fore the more active and perhaps livelier bunch, there is jibbing – skiing and snowboarding on rails and tables, snow canoe races, bungee skiing, polar bear swims, even crashed ice – downhill ice skating.
We also have our own winter carnival.The Elliot Lake Winterfest takes place February 24 to 27 with events at the lake near Spruce Beach, Collins Hall, Mount Dufour Ski Hill, Lower Plaza, and Horne Lake.The CTV Ice Fishing Derby on Horne Lake is a popular event.You can take bowling to a new hilarious level with turkey bowling by bowling frozen turkeys across the main square.Or you can be more adventurous, by going white-water canoeing – literally, down the slopes at Mount Dufour.Or if you can’t wait for summer to play your favorite outdoor sports, there are winter adaptations of baseball – snowpitch, snowshoe golf, and snow volleyball.
When you have your fill of outdoor fun and need to warm up, you can take part in indoor activities as well.Dances and concerts take place at Collins Hall and at the Pearson Civic Centre.A pancake breakfast takes place at the Renaissance Centre – the Ren-Cen.And there are activities you can organize and create yourself.Winterfest is the perfect time to organize a potluck supper.Just create your favorite entrée, appetizer and dessert to share with all the participants.Perhaps you can have a winter sing-along after, watch movies or play games.
Don’t be bored.Get out and have fun.You’re sure to enjoy the “other festive season” with Winterfest