It was just a teeny-tiny fever, hardly enough to cross the line from cold to flu and I was such a good girl, staying home from work, sleeping , sleeping. So when my friends Deborah and Tony called to ask if I wanted to go snowshoeing in Great Falls Park a week later . . . I so excited I bounded through the halls. It is the tail end of the virus, I told myself. There is just a touch of congestion and you know how breathing cold air clears your nose like nothing else.
Truth be told, after a few days inside I was prowling like a tiger in a cage. A record snowfall had hit the D.C. area the prior weekend and I had yet to be out in it.
The sun was bright on the snow. I got out my cross-country skis then decided, no, I probably was not up for the exertion of cross-country skiing. I would splurge for new snowshoes. A quick call to Tony, who was at REI in Seven Corners, and I was on my way, riding the metro dressed like Nanook of the North in my red Norwegian anorak with the real wolverine ruff, my wooley sherpa hat and gaiters. I was a little worried the metro pooh-bahs might not let me take my old bamboo ski poles on the metro (could those pointy metal bits at the ends serve as weapons?) but no one said a word.
Deborah and Tony fetched me from the East Falls Church metro stop and we were off. In the parking lot, Deborah and I tried on our new ultra modern snowshoes while Tony opted for something that looked more akin to elongated badminton rackets–I am sure they were made to be hung criss-crossed on a ski lodge wall and not to be actually worn–but he said he liked them even though he could not lift his foot more than a few inches and the back point dragged in the snow. The snow was breathtakingly beautiful and I could not wait so I forged on ahead while Tony and Deborah fussed with their equipment. Back and forth I went in deep snow, sinking in a bit less with each repetition as I cleared a section of path. This is a lot of work, I thought as I sucked in air, then womp, womp, womped my way back to where I could see the car a few hundred feet away.