–Photographs by Mike Hincks and Kim Leong
You’re a natural outdoorswoman! It was back on December 16th, 2017 that we finally got you out on your first snowshoe trip. I hosted a family/beginner snowshoe trip with the Island Mountain Ramblers as a way to get the whole family outdoors together. You were already 14 months old at the time — a whole year older than your brother’s first time! I’m sorry we waited so long to get you into a backpack and out in the snow! We tried to make it happen last winter, but between your age and the weather, we just couldn’t find a day that worked.
Along with Hemingway and Mom, we had a great day together in the snow, hiking with a wonderful group of club members. We intentionally planned a late start to our day, ensuring that other, more adventurous souls would beat a path to the lake, making our day easier. I was towing Hemingway in the pulk sled, and Mom carried you in the backpack.
Our large group moved easily along the summer route to Lake Helen Mackenzie, where we stopped to eat lunch. You and Hemingway had fun playing in the snow, though it was a real challenge for you to walk on the slippery snow with all your layers of clothing. You spent more time seated and eating lunch (a favourite pastime of yours) than walking. We sat at the lake for quite a while, because feeding the two of you takes a heck of a lot longer than it probably should!
The day was nearly perfect, missing only one thing: Grey Jays! When Hemingway was your age and we did this trip, the Gray Jays swooped down, perched on his sled, and even ate nuts out of his hand. Today, they were nowhere to be found!
Our return trip was a bit more exciting than normal. Because the ice on Lake Helen Mackenzie was still thin, we followed the twisting summer route through the trees until we eventually merged with Battleship Lake. I was confident that Battleship was frozen enough to walk on, but we kept to the southern shore. You and your brother were content to ride along, and then both fell asleep for the final stroll down the hill and back to the car.
I know this was your first trip in the backpack, but Mom and I were both impressed at how happy you were through the whole trip. It seems that you like the backpack just as much as your brother did. One thing’s for sure, we both thought you were cute in all your layers!
I love you, Octavia.