Clear Creek children discover joys of snowshoeing on library's inaugural hike

Walking a mile in their (snow) shoes

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Just as there are different types of snow, there are different types of snowshoers.

For some, it’s a means to an end — a way of ensuring they reach their destination despite the conditions. For others, it’s a more enriching endeavor to connect with the winter environment.

For the children who went snowshoeing for the first time Feb. 18 along Guanella Pass Road above Georgetown, it was a simple introduction to the activity and an excuse to play in the snow.

The Clear Creek County Library District partnered with Georgetown Outdoor Discovery to host a children’s snowshoe hike Friday afternoon at Silverdale. Along with an adult snowshoe hike the previous weekend, it was the library district’s first time hosting such an event.

“It’s a little diversion from the usual programming,” the district’s programs assistant Chris Crouse said. “But, when the opportunity came up, (the district) saw this as a great way for children to get outdoor exercise and learn about natural resources.”

Kimberly Knox, Georgetown Outdoor Discovery’s founder, led the group of six children and their entourages of parents and grandparents. She described how snowshoes were invented 6,000 years ago and share a similar concept to the snowshoe hare’s adaptations of having larger feet to better traverse the snow.

She explained how to properly wear the snowshoes and use the poles, and how to maneuver uphill and turn around. Because it’s difficult to go backwards in snowshoes, Knox instructed the children to “make a sun in the snow” to turn around.

All of the children enjoyed hiking through the deep snow adjacent to the trail and flopping into the cold fluff any chance they had.

Miles and Brooks Bowland, 6, were on their first snowshoe hike. Their mom, Idaho Springs’ Terri Bowland, said she wanted to them to experiment with all outdoor activities, and thought the outing would be a great chance to enjoy the “fresh, crisp air,” the sunshine and the snow.

Blakely Carlson, 4, was hiking with her dad, Lucas Carlson, and her grandparents, who were visiting from Georgia.

Lucas described how the family recently moved to Georgetown, and joined the snowshoe hike somewhat fortuitously. The family visited the John Tomay Memorial Library for the first time the day before and saw the information about the snowshoe hike. So, they decided to, with Carlson explaining that Blakely had never snowshoed before.

“We love hiking already, so to be able to extend that into wintertime is great,” Carlson said of introducing Blakely to snowshoeing. “We’ll have to buy our own (snowshoes) after this.”

Carlson said the family enjoys hiking around Georgetown, and could’ve used the snowshoes the previous day when they hiked the Silver Creek Trail and encountered a lot of deep snow.

Carlson said his family would like to participate if the library district hosts more of this programming in the future.

Bowland felt similarly, saying she appreciated how the district partnered with Knox to host the event. She and Knox started their small businesses at the same time, and she wanted the library to continue its partnership with Knox and others like her.

Crouse said she that, given how successful both the adult and children’s snowshoe hikes were, the library district will explore continuing this type of programming.

For information on the Clear Creek County Library District’s upcoming events and programs, visit cccld.org.

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