In which I run, and ski, and photograph the in betweens

Just when I had resigned myself to staying inside for the remainder of my blue-sky Friday, the snowplow went by, clearing the way for an afternoon walk. I suited up appropriately and then left the house. Less than a half mile through the four-mile trek, I decided to try running half of it. I wasn’t dressed great for a run – too warm in my down coat among other added layers – but I was eager to try the Yak Trax for the first time, and if you’re a runner (or a previous runner), then you know how strong the pull is once the idea has crept into your brain. However, it’s been…well I don’t know how long it’s been. Suffice it to say it’s been a while since I’ve run because even though we have a treadmill, the only thing it gets used for is cool-downs from other workouts. And because I don’t like to run miles through melty, squishy snow, or in snow drifts. So, I settled for two miles so that I wouldn’t get overheated, and because we had planned to ski Saturday morning (I didn’t want to overdo it).

Let me just say: I love the Yak Trax. Even in places where I could see hints of ice shining through the packed snow, I didn’t feel the slightest slip. Let me also say: packed snow is not a runner’s dream surface. Because I am a horrible goal-post mover, I ended up running 2.6 miles, but it was not the easiest run I’ve ever had. I said the plow had cleared our road; it’s more accurate to say it “cleared” our road. We have different definitions of these things Up Here. The snow pack on the road is a couple of inches thick, and even though the Yak Trax kept me from busting my tush, they did not prevent the inevitable give-and-take that comes with running on a moving surface. It’s not unlike running on loose sand. Regardless, the run went great, and I can now check that particular item off the to-do list. Or add it For Real to my continuous to-do list.

By far the clearest place on the road, and that beautiful barn that keeps cropping up in my pictures:

We awoke yesterday morning to absolutely gorgeous surroundings. The skies were free from clouds overnight, and temperatures had plummeted, thus coating every available surface in thick, glistening frost.
frosted woods
Though I had expected it, my legs didn’t hurt at all from the previous day’s excursions and I was feeling pretty smug. Pretty smug indeed, until I ran upstairs to capture the above photo. I was springing up the last step, when it punched me. Hard. It must have, because otherwise I have no idea what happened. I stubbed both my big toes simultaneously, lurched both knees into the step, and completed my graceless and unexplainable fall by thunking my arm down onto the step. Knees, arm, toes, pride: bruised. Camera: no problem! So that’s all right then.

Crisis averted and smugness checked, we left for Shanty Creek to ski, stopping by the marina in Alden along the way. Torch Lake was shrouded in thick fog – a product of the interplay of relatively warm waters and the -1F (-18C) air above.


Frosted orchard and fence

For the first time in three winters, I actually used hand-warmers inside my gloves while skiing. (I frequently use toe-warmers.) We switched “mountains” after an hour, and were pleased by how much the temperature had raised. It was 1F. However, the ten-minute break in the car – still fully dressed in multi-layered ski garb – warmed us up sufficiently for another ninety minutes. By the time we headed home for lunch, we were actually warm. The thermometer confirmed: 24F (-4C)! What a difference a bit of sun makes!

Torch Lake, about 3.5 hours after the above set…no more fog or frost, which I thought was spectacularly beautiful


Thin, clear ice on Torch Lake…haven’t seen this since much ice on Torch since February 2010!

Icicles and sunset courtesy of Jim and Jess’ suite overlook Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City, where we spent the a good part of the afternoon behaving like gluttons. I’ll leave out the gory details 😉


Lake Charlevoix sunset

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9 thoughts on “In which I run, and ski, and photograph the in betweens

  1. You are seriously genius with your camera, both protecting it from falls, and the whole picture taking thing. Love your pictures. Be careful and stay warm!

  2. First of all, yes I used to run, and I remember running on packed snow that shifted with each step. Lots of extra work. Never ran in Yax, though I have friends that do. My philosophy was if I needed them I didn’t want to go! 🙂

    Second, these are extraordinary photos! I kept thinking I’d found my favorite then I’d like the next one. Love the Torch Lake ones, love the fence outside the orchard…and really really love the one you hurt yourself getting.

    Third. I hope all the toes, arms, knees etc are feeling better today. Probably they are not. Super glad the camera was not injured. I’m sure you took the hit to protect it. I would.

    Love to follow you around ‘up north’…where are we going NEXT weekend?

    • That bit about being a previous runner was stated with you in mind 🙂 I get to feeling despondent if I don’t get my outdoors time in. I had just made the walk around the block the day (maybe it was two?) before, and since I was in my Trax, I decided to give it a go. I didn’t even feel them on, so I see them being used more in my need-to-get-outside future!

      Yesterday morning was extraordinarily beautiful! The super-cold temperatures followed by clear skies make scenes worth capturing. Too bad the rain and warm temperatures will nix that Torch Lake ice.

      Body is fine, just a little bruised. Every now and then I rediscover a sore place, much to my chagrin. I am not one to cry over bodily injuries, but I *would* have cried if I had damaged my camera!

      And next weekend there will DEFINITELY be pictures. My friend from middle school who I blogged about – Melinda – is coming to spend the weekend with us. We are both little-girl excited…the best kind 🙂 You can look forward to snow tubing, winter festival snow sculptures, and Lake Michigan overlook views!

  3. I didn’t know you could RUN in Yak Trax. We’ve walked in them a lot–but never tried running. Beautiful pictures once again, Heather. It was gorgeous outside today here after the freezing rain followed by snow. Picture pretty. Too bad I’m not in a camera mood these days.

    • I had seen a few people running in them around Traverse, so I decided to give them a go. Glad I did 🙂
      It was not gorgeous outside here today – wet snow followed the freezing rain. Some things are best experienced NOT behind a lens. You’ll pick up the camera again when the mood strikes. Until then, enjoy your lens-free days!

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