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  • Writer's pictureJen Henry

On Or Off The Trail

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Hello Friends and Family, so happy to connect with you again :) I have taken a few days off to experience life and wait until I feel lead to share something worthwhile. I never want this blog to feel like a task or forced in any way. I want it to be organic and natural, not filled with a bunch of empty meaningless words. I know all of our time is very precious and valuable. It is one thing we cannot get back, so I see why it is recommended we use it wisely. If you have intentionally dropped by to read a new post or you have stumbled upon this site by happenstance, I am so very happy and blessed you did!

I have a few things I would love to share with you, and I hope you feel the same way. I would love to know how you have stepped out of your comfort zone or how you nudged yourself to grow in any way, may it be big or small. It's all a step in the right direction, when we feel as if we are growing our lives and accomplishing things in a positive way. It could be as small as a new word we went out of our way to learn and use. It could be making efforts to drink more water instead of going for the throat burning, oh so yummy soda, you have been craving. It can be making efforts to carve out time in your day to study more or pray, or it can be as big as taking a new class or applying for a new position. Regardless, I am going to share with you a few of my new experiences and recent steps I have taken in my growth journey.

Recently I was in Mammoth California surrounded by snow covered trees on blankets of fresh powder. I just so happen to be a So Cal girl who doesn't always get the opportunity to experience these conditions or surroundings. It has been beyond enjoyable to experience such beauty. Even though it has been a bit chilly, the sun has come out every day to greet us. If any of you who are reading this are in negative 30-degree weather in snowing or have been experiencing rain for days, I apologize in advance for bragging about such beautiful weather conditions. Hopefully you will still enjoy and get something from my story. I am about to share some new adventures filled with an array of emotions such as excitement, thrill, apprehension, trial, adventure, and exhilaration.

I have added pictures for you to view. These pictures include my first cross-country ski lesson and my first experience snowmobiling. I am middle aged, and I can't believe I have gone through life thus far, without trying these activities. I would most definitely put them in the "Snow-Much-Fun" category. My husband participated with me but had experienced all these activities many times throughout his life.

When I first started the cross-country lesson, it seemed awkward and unnatural. I was apprehensive, concerned, and excited all at the same time. As several minutes went by, I began to feel more comfortable, and I started to loosen up a bit and have some fun. After completing and surviving my first 90 minute lessen, we began our journey out on our own. As soon as our lesson ended, Mike thought it would be fun to take my new skill and practice it all the way to Lake Mary. I have included a map to give you some points of reference. As he showed me a map of the path we would take, it did not look too tough from Tamarac Lodge to the lake, so I agreed. I wasn't quite aware of the uphill climb that lied ahead. In the beginning, the incline was fine and gradual, but about 30 minutes in, I began to run out of gas from the altitude we were climbing and also trying to best figure out how to ski uphill gracefully lol. We did not go over much of that skill with our instructor. After skiing for a while, I quickly started to become cranky and discouraged. After some time of pushing through my fatigue, we came upon a sign that read 1.5 miles to Lake Mary. You can probably imagine my reaction. After a short spurt of complaining, Mike encouraged me to keep going, so I bucked it up and tried to keep a smile on my face. I tried to put into action a few of the pointers I had recently learned from my instructor. I had a preconceived notion that after we finished the lesson, we would just take it easy and meander around the snow covered pine trees, on a level groomed trail, so I could practice my new skills. Little did I know that even though we took the designated groomed road, the map suggested to reach our destination, it would require stamina, determination and perseverance especially for a newbie like me.

About an hour later we finally reached our destination. It was a beautiful snow-covered frozen lake surrounded by a cascade of white covered mountains that resembled vanilla frosting. It was amazing and so majestic! My body, soul, and spirit was overcome with awe and a sense of accomplishment. We made it! We finally reached our goal, and our reward was a fun downhill decent back to the lodge. I was so looking forward to some ease on the way down, but with that came another situation to overcome. All was enjoyable for a while and going well until I picked up too much speed going downhill. I got off track a bit because the groomed path and track was running out. I began to panic. As I went a bit further, I could see that the path was going to start up again, so I tried to keep it together to get back on track. As I tried to get back inline, I completely beefed it! The fall resulted in a total faceplant down in the snow with my ski's straight up in the air behind me. I had no clue my toes could bend that far back without breaking off because my skis did not release from my boots and my heels were now pointing toward the sky. My body and toes were literally at a 90-degree angle, and let me reiterate, not in a natural way! When I realized I had not broken anything and my toes were still intact, I remembered how the instructor told us to get back up if we take a fall. I rolled onto my back, put my skis to the side of my body and pushed myself upright with my poles. I looked around to see how many people had witnessed my "yard sale" and to my surprise I think no one had. Once I realized I wasn't hurt and only my ego a little bruised, I sort of wished Mike had gotten my incident on camera so I could have uploaded it and we could have all gotten a good laugh. Even though I got off the track for a short time and bruised more of my ego than my body, I got back on my skis, on the track that was prepared for me, and had an amazing journey back to the warm cozy car!

The next day we went on a group snowmobile ride with our good friends that were up in Mammoth as well. I had never before been snowmobiling, so I hopped on the back seat, and we took off. It was a beautiful 90-minute ride on a nicely groomed snow covered trail lined with snow covered pine trees. About halfway through, the guide took us to another groomed path which was in the shape of a track but he had one stipulation before he let us loose. All he asked us to do, is to follow the path that was set before us. He emphasized multiple times, if we stay on the designated path and not wonder off the groomed road, we will lessen our possibilities of getting hurt or into trouble. I think most of us were thinking that the beautiful untouched snow-covered forest on the other side of the paved track looked like so much fun and so did the free spirited paths we noticed others had created on the sides of the mountains. Going off the road into the wilderness and through the trees, seemed pretty exciting, but our leader was doing his best to direct our path in a way that would lessen our chances of running into danger and experiencing unforeseen problems. After our instructor set out the guidelines, I got up the nerve to get into the driver's seat and prove to myself I could handle this intimidating beast-of-a-machine. After Mike gave me an additional quick lesson, I took off and had the time of my life. I took the advice of our leader, stayed on track, and all turned out amazing. The day was incredible, and it was a wonderful time for all of us. It was also a heartwarming experience to make new memories with our treasured friends.

As I think back on this week's adventures, I have included a few thought-provoking scriptures.

Scripture of the day:

Proverbs 4:26

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.

Matthew 7:13-14 (words of Jesus are in red)

13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Proverbs 9-11

9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;

teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

11 For through wisdom your days will be many,

and years will be added to your life.

Big accomplishments or small, I would love to hear about yours. I welcome comments, feedback or a red heart like. I would love to hear how you challenged yourself in the

Grow My Know Challenge.

Looking forward to our paths crossing again. In the mean time, go out and have some fun!


My uphill journey to Lake Mary

Map of our route

Once we reached Lake Mary

Lake Mary

A day of snowmobiling with our friends

My 1st go-around

Making unforgettable memories with treasured friends


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