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Adventures of a first-time snowshoe trip

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Journal reporter Matt Lambert took his first foray into the world of snowshoeing Saturday, Feb. 4, at Glen Hills County Park near Glenwood City. He didn’t fall down once. (River Falls Journal photo by Matt Lambert)2 / 2

I’m not much of an outdoorsman. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the day out on the lake or a leisurely stroll through the woods.

Would I be good in a situation where it’s life or death out in the wildness? No. A better use of me would be as firewood.

While I was snowshoeing around the hills of Glen Hills Park in Glenwood City, a thought occurred to me.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in the woods in the winter.

I assume this is a common recollection for people. The Midwest winter can be brutal. Freezing temperatures, rain, and pounds of snow doesn’t exactly make people want to combat the elements.

However, many people aren’t aware that opportunities, like I had to snowshoe, are around.

I signed up for a measly $12 through St. Croix County plus a guided tour from Aleisha Miller from Resource Management in the county. Miller is used to educating schools, youth groups, and other organizations in the area.

The route Miller took us on, two-and-a-half miles altogether, was beautiful, walking through tunnels of trees and onto Glen Lake that seemed like a barren wasteland.

While the sites and scenes were worth the cost of admission, Miller’s keen knowledge of the land made it even more worthwhile.

She stopped to point out a fox’s trail, various plants along the way, and even blazed a trail for the rest of the group.

In my interview I initially did with Miller in Dec., I asked, bluntly, why does this even matter.

Miller said something that caught me off guard. She explained how we have all of this wonder just outside our door.

You can’t get the smell of a leaning pine tree out of your phone. Or feel the frigid wind sweep across your body.

The outdoors are meant to be experienced, but if you asked yourself how often you’ve been to a state or public park in the last week, month, year, or decade, I’m sure you’d be disappointed in your answer.

Go outside. Bring a friend, a dog, or stroll along by yourself. Experience what we have, whether that be bundled up in snow pants and long johns or a pair of shorts and t-shirt.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal in December 2016 covering government, school board, and writing features about the community. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism.