There is nothing like a picnic; the cool breeze, the fresh air, the snowy landscape. Snowy landscape? Yes, I am talking about winter picnics. Any winter sports enthusiast (skier, snowboarder, snow shoe-er, sledder, etc.) knows a winter picnic is a necessary part of spending the day in the backcountry. It’s fun anytime and anywhere.
Too many people go into hibernation mode in the winter and I don’t know how they can exist like that for so many months. Sure, I watch way more TV/movies in the winter than summer, but I have to make a concerted effort to get outside every day even if it’s just for a few minutes.
One of my favourite things to do on a sunny winter day is head outside for a picnic. It’s fun, it gets you outside and even better- you don’t have to worry about bugs!
I am fortunate to live only an hour away from the majestic Rocky Mountains, but some days I want to explore without the drive. In the prairies of Southern Alberta we have these things called coulees which are a kind of valley cut into the prairies by creeks or spring runoff. I knew I wanted to hang out for some time, so I packed a simple meal of soup in a thermos, coffee and almonds for lunch.
Within seven minutes I was a world away from anyone in a nearby coulee and the dogs and I enjoyed a day exploring the cliffs.
It was cold on top, the wind howled and the temperatures read -12C, which was a little annoying when all week we had above freezing temperatures. But once we got down into the coulee, we were sheltered from the wind and felt almost too warm with my down jacket under my wind/waterproof coat.
I picked a sheltered spot next to the cliff and laid out my WICKED wilderness themed blanket I found at a thrift store and enjoyed a simple meal while the dogs played.
This picnic stands out to me most because it was in this coulee that I discovered a large frozen waterfall that I didn’t know existed. If only I knew people who ice climbed!
Author: Rachel Richards, MHW Winter Ambassador