Urban Blizzard Hike

Although this is my first winter hiking season ever, and it’s been a mild one, I’ve been out there in a wide range of conditions. Looking out the window this morning did deter me from driving somewhere but did not deter me from walking somewhere. I decided to suit up and go for a walk to Quincy Center (that’s Massachusetts just so ya know.

And so, I bid my roommates adieu, walked down the driveway, and hit the sidewalks of Quincy with only a bottle of water and a camera. I decided to leave the ice axe and bivy gear at home.

Pushing through the freshly fallen, fluffy snow along the roadside helped get me energized and it felt good to be outside. It wasn’t too cold today, and the wind was gusty but not all that bad. Not many folks were adventurous enough to take to the streets in this hyped-up weather. I got a fair share of confused looks from people thinking I was a weirdo for being decked out in balaclava, wool hat, goggles, windproof outer gear, heavy gloves, insulated boots and snowshoes. I took one look at their jeans, sneakers, baseball caps and cotton sweatshirts and decided they were the weirdos. Everyone had a beet red face. I was actually quite comfortable. Most of the people outside looked pretty pissed off to be out there. I smiled and waved and went on my way.

I walked from W. Squantum St. all the way down Hancock until I was practically through Quincy Center (2.5 miles?). Finally I found a roast beef place that was open so I stopped there for lunch. After ordering I noticed I could see my breath in there. Odd, it didn’t feel cold. The place was open for business but they had no heat. I was toasty warm from all the walking that I didn’t even notice!

The walk back home with a belly full of warm sandwich was nice. The snowfall had died down a little so the visibility was a little better. The city center is very pretty and there was much that I noticed today that I’d never bothered to see before. I snapped a ton of pictures and walked back at a leisurely pace. I was surprised to see that almost all of my footprints were totally obliterated by the new snowfall and drifts. It was as if I had never been there. I kept checking the street signs to make sure I was taking the same route!

I was able to get some exercise, experience the “blizzard,” and test out my new Kamik -40 degree boots. They’re warm but not broken in and so I have some nice blisters now.

Funny how the weather that always used to keep me holed up inside the house now draws me outside. The snow is still coming down and the wind is blowing like crazy. I hope school is closed tomorrow so I can break out some trails in the Blue Hills!!

Go enjoy your neighborhood in the driving snow if you can, I highly recommend it.

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