Now, I know what you're thinking: in some countries they use snow shoe-ing as a form of torture to get information out of their prisoners of war. I'm here to tell you: be that as it may, it's actually TONS of fun!
What better way to denote your appreciation of the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. than to spend his holiday surrounded by three honkies and Mario in a white winter wonderland off I-90 about 50 miles east of Seattle? That was the scene as I stepped out of Juli/Colin's car after being crammed in the back with Mark/Mario. We got our gear from REI for the day; contrary to my assumptions, the snow shoes didn't look like giant wooden tennis rackets, instead they looked a lot like these bad boys. So, you know, I got to feel like a real outdoorsman instead of like I was walking with the Indians.
Colin, in great detail, read from a book that listed a bunch of Washington State Coldspots that we could partake of in our snow-required ventures. The one we landed on included a semi-frozen lake and a bunch of friendly cross-country skiers.
Do you think cross-country skiers hit a snag somewhere in the midwest? I gotta think all those cornfields are gonna make it tough on your skis.
So, we followed the trail for a mile or-maybe-two and then upon reaching as far as we wanted to walk, we headed down the great hill until we made it to the semi-frozen lake. There, we farted around, seeing how far our snowballs could slide on the ice, breaking holes into said ice, rescuing air bubbles from under said ice, whathaveyou. Obviously, we couldn't have a pleasant outing without Mark and I administering surprise tackles into the snow. I like to say I had the proper d-line form on my tackles, wrapped him up, followed through with my shoulder. He may have gotten a couple licks in here and there, I can't rightly recall.
The trek back was slightly more arduous because we avoided the pre-stamped trail in favor of taking the southerly route nearer and dearer to the lake. We had to leap a number of small streams and everything!
After being dropped off at Juli's sister's house, Mark/Mario and myself piled into the Hammer's car and the three of us went bowling over there by Lil' Jon's Restaurant in Bellevue. I had the games of my LIFE. First game, I was down to Mark before bowling a turkey-8 to close it out with a score of 132 (also didn't hurt that the machine singled out Mark as the one whose strikes weren't going to be scored properly ... alas, I didn't figure out until the next game how to manually change the score). The second game I was hitting spares to beat the band, a lot of them being 9-pins followed by that pesky 1 in the middle. Finished with a 139, walking away the champ. Third game I rounded things out with another win, this time with 135 on the scoreboard. My two-fingered form is starting to pay dividends, my friends. Bowling league here I come!