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  • Poles apart
    Don Erickson and Jim Joque debate the merits of snowshoeing with one trekking pole or two. 
  • A stretch of the imagination
    We take for granted the lightweight nylon backpacking and camping tents we have today. But tents didn’t change much from Thoreau’s day until a Midwestern artist turned one of his art concepts into a lightweight portable shelter. Bill Moss designed and patented the first dome tent in 1955 and initiated the transformation of two industries in the process.  
  • It was during the prolonged excessive heat of June and early July this year when I realized how much I hate running on treadmills.

     
  • I grew up in an area of the world that had two seasons: green (for two months) and brown (for ten months). No seasons per se, just variations in temperature from almost warm to blazingly hot. In any case, the weather didn't affect what I did.  
  • You're probably still looking out the window at patches of snow. Your canoe or kayak is a little dusty, having been in hibernation since last fall. And your paddle clothing is wadded up in a duffel bag. Hopefully was dry before you put it away in that manner.  
  • Each winter, the staff and members of Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness strap on their boots, pull on their parkas and fleece masks and head north to YMCA Camp Menogyn for the annual Winter Sampler Weekend. This three-day adventure features skiing, snowshoeing and dogsledding along the Gunflint Trail at the edge of the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness.  
  • You know that joyous scene from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in which all the kids are skating on the local pond? It wasn't exactly like that for me. My skates were painful. My feet were cold. My feet were cramping. Although I grew up in Wisconsin and came to love winter sports, I just never picked up ice skating as a kid.  
  • Looking back at my 2012 training log, I see I biked more miles in November and December than I did in July. Serious cyclists, I realize, wouldn't be impressed by my pedaling less than 200 miles in each of those months. But it wasn't until July that my monthly biking miles outnumbered my running miles. Funny what a difference a serious running injury - and a new bike - makes.  
  • Snowshoeing isn't what it used to be. While snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross country and downhill skiing enjoy great popularity as winter recreational pursuits, snowshoeing, for years, was stuck with the reputation of being an activity you did because you had to. When you had to get somewhere and the snow was too deep for skis or snowmobiles, you strapped on snowshoes, usually giant wooden ones. Most snowshoes spent their lifetime hanging in storage or displayed over fireplace mantles, only seeing light after blizzards or at garage sales.  
  • The peninsula was covered nicely in white, but the snow was shallow and the trails had only a half inch to three inches of snow cover. Switching from snowshoeing to hiking, we would not be disappointed. I still got a feel for the snowshoe trails we traversed in boots.  
  • Two books - Some Like It Cold: A Sheboygan Surfin' Safari and Surfing the Great Lakes - focus on the midwestern surfing scene. 
  • My daughter gave me a 100 percent cotton, hooded sweatshirt from The South Butt. You got that right; The South Butt, not The North Face. 
  • I took a moment to reflect upon the guttural growl birthed by my half-century-old joints moving in tandem to lift me off the couch. The sound waves sent by my ankles, knees and hips had again massed in my diaphragm, launched themselves, and exploded with a wicked plume from the back of my throat with a mighty "Urrrr-wwuh!" 
  • 'Shoeing blind
    SNOWSHOEING with Jim Joque
    I scheduled an overnight winter camping adventure for students taking my university camping and backpacking course. It happened to fall on the same night as the first major storm of the season to hit central Wisconsin on December 8, 2009. I had to make a decision as to whether or not to proceed or cancel. My top concern is always safety.
     
THE ACTIVE PURSUIT
with Tom Held
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