No new pictures this weekend, I’m sorry to report. But I’ll have some doozies next weekend, when I make my first stab at snowshoeing and winter backpacking.

I’ve had the itch to try snowshoeing because it’s so much like hiking. It’s taken me all this time to overcome my primary objection, which is the fact that it must be done in snow. Not that there’s anything wrong with snow, I just like it better floating around in those little “Rosebud” globes.

i wrote a few things about snowcamping at Two-Heel Drive last week, and lo and behold, a guy who’s been doing it all his life (one of my 17 devoted readers) has volunteered to take me along on an overnighter at Carson Pass near Lake Tahoe. He’s gonna show me how to build a snow cave and everything.

The pluses of snow camping:

  • No bugs
  • No bears
  • Very few people
  • Gorgeous flake-flocked vistas

The minuses:

  • Cold as a well-diggers ass
  • Cold as a witch’s tit
  • Cold as a stone
  • Cold as the grave

Did I mention my issues with cold?

Melissa’s brother asked if perhaps I couldn’t get the same effect by sticking my head in the freezer. Sure, but nobody wants to see my pictures of frozen peas.

Oh, I forgot one of the pluses: The need to acquire more gear: thermal underwear, goose-down jacket, zero-degree goose-down sleeping bag, waterproof cover for the sleeping bag, waterproof snow pants, waterproof snow mittens.

All you have to do to have an enjoyable snow-camping outing is to stay dry. The challenge being that any human encounter with snow causes it to melt, and any exertion through snow causes people to sweat. It’s as if all the forces of nature are conspiring to convince you that the best place to be in the winter is indoors in front of a warm fire.

But that is not the hearty pioneer spirit that built America. Snow-camping is a patriotic duty, right up there with sitting on juries and forgetting the verses of the “Star Spangled Banner” they never sing at football games.

And if it proves too arduous, I can always stand in front of my open freezer.