I have my own bucket list and have been checking a lot things out of the list. It feels really good whenever I get to do the things I longed for and finally get to say ” been there, done that”. However, after being exposed to new things and adventures, my list has gotten longer and I have ended up wanting more. The insatiability in me has struck. Nevertheless, it makes my life more exciting and more meaningful. So the list goes on . Life becomes so boring when we tend to just go about our day-to-day lives. There’s this one big question that I always want to have a ready answer for: “What and when was the last time you did something for the first time?”
One of my biggest dreams on my bucket list is to do winter activities. I always want to add color to my life. It’s a big world out there. I want to explore and experience it. So, after getting my multiple US visa in 2013, I immediately booked a roundtrip airplane ticket to the US and prepared myself for some extreme cold experiences. My dream destination was in the state of Maine where my big sister lives. Winter is an excellent time to go outdoors. Imagine the crisp, fresh air plus the terrific all-white scenery, hills and ground all covered with snow.
However, it is important to understand that prolonged exposure to cold can do harm. Think about hypothermia and frostbite. Fortunately, my sister has lived in winter wonderland for the longest time now, so she knows all of the necessary precautions. She equipped me with everything I needed: sun cream – skin protection from the sun, wind and cold that coats the skin in a protective layer to stop wind and cold burn . Sunglasses – eye protection from the sun rays and the cloud shade. Proper outfit – snow pants, not jeans, synthetic sports socks, layers of clothes with thermal layers next to my skin, and a waterproof outside layer.
My very first winter adventure destination was Harris Farm Stand & Cross Country Ski Center. Harris Farm is a family-owned dairy farm that serves as a cross-country ski center during the winter. They have equipment rentals for skiing, snowshoeing and sledding. This is the perfect place to try all of those activities. What made this spot even better was their helpful and friendly staff.
Skiing was on top of my list. The first thing that I did was look for relatively comfortable boots. The pair I got allowed me to move my toes and never let my feet slip around from side to side. I wore them as tight as comfortably possible around my calf muscles. Next, I was given skis which were 20-30cm shorter than my height. I was told those skis suited my abilities as a newbie; shorter skis are definitely easier to turn. I was given a brief ski lesson.
Three important things to consider:
3. Know How to Stand Up. I learned my feet should be shoulder-width apart, so I can have a better base of support than if my feet were next to each other. Standing on skis has a massive impact on the likelihood of falling over when sliding starts.
2. Know How to Move Your Skis. Skis are clamped to your boots. If you turn your foot to the right, your ski will also turn to the right. I first tried to pick up one foot at a time with my skis on. I turned them to the right and then to the left. I eventually got familiar with the feeling and learned which muscles to use. It was easy to learn. Just point the skis where you want to go by turning your feet.
1. Know the Proper Stance. The most stable position when skiing is to keep your feet shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing inwards and your heels apart. To better understand this: just make a V-shape, like a slice of pizza. Remember to bend your knees and waist to some extent and position your arms out wide like you are about to hug somebody. I had the best time of my life. I never let fear hold me back from trying. I was there to enjoy the experience. I definitely had fun.
After I was done with skiing, I went inside a lounge area near a fire place and gulped down a hot chocolate drink. The next thing I did was sledding.
Sledding. The literal meaning of sledding is to travel down a snowy hill using a sled. I rented a formed plastic sled, positioned myself on the sled, put my legs through and went downhill. It was an exhilarating experience. I did it several times until I got tired.
Snowshoeing is an activity that is great because anyone can do it. If you know how to walk, you can snowshoe. It is definitely a cool outdoor diversion. Snowshoeing is suitable for young, old and everyone in-between. It keeps you fit and is inexpensive. You can snowshoe almost anywhere there is snow-cover.
Making snow angels. This is fun. I slowly lay down butt first followed by my back. I soon spread my arms straight out. I kept my arms as straight as I could and let them swing up to the top of my head and straight at my sides. After a couple of minutes, I stood up as carefully as possible. It was not perfect, but I still loved it.
Snowtubing is an activity available at Seacoast Adventure Par in the Sebago Lakes, Windham, Maine. After obtaining tickets, we got our tubes and went straight to the waiting line at their express lift. We got to the top in less than 3 minutes. When we reached the top of the tubing hill, we placed our tube’s tow strap inside the tube and held onto the handles as we pushed off. We waited in line and allowed the ones in front to reach the bottom of the hill before we started heading out.
The ride down the tubing hill was quite a chilly thrill. It took our breath away, but after that initial exhilaration, the experience was absolute fun. I consider snow tubing as a breathtaking winter activity that is a great option for non-skiers. It couldn’t be any easier. Definitely no special skills or equipment needed. All you need to do is show up and have fun. All those times when we zigzagged down the smooth slopes spelled fun.
Read the next page for more of my winter adventures!