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The Snow Roll

living and writing in Yellowstone's Old Faithful Area.

2021 brought many changes to our Rolling&Writing lifestyle including an end to the 'Roll'. That doesn't mean that everything came to a screeching halt though. Life is full of seasons and this one has led us into full-blown winter.

If you don't already know, my husband was offered and accepted a full-time job at Yellowstone National Park as a Maintenance Lead. Needless to say, he is happy with the job but the transition was not so easy.

First, we moved into an apartment. Second, we sold the RV, and third, we bought a snowmobile. I guess we don't do things small. In the past, we used to say we liked to visit winter but we wouldn't want to stay. This year we chose to stay and are loving it. We have at least 3 feet of snow here in the Old Faithful (OF) area and it is beautiful.

Needless to say, we needed to gear up for the frigid temperatures and here are a few of the things we did including the THREE Ss of Snowmobiling.

I must add that we did actually have quite a collection of winter gear but we have since added some new things to make life more comfortable.

Although I already have a good ski jacket it is short and I decided to pick up a longer coat to help keep my upper legs warmer.

One of the hardest things to sort out has been the right kind of gloves, but we seem to have finally found an answer.

I am now wearing heavy mittens with lighter liners inside which allows me to take pictures without freezing my fingers.

Layers, of course, are the key to managing in the winter weather.

Now I'd like to mention the THREE Ss of Snowmobiling.

  1. Shovel

  2. Snowshoes

  3. Snacks

I am surprised when I see anyone driving around on a snowmobile without any of these items. In this level of snow, not having a shovel is setting yourself for being and staying stuck. It is amazing what you can find nowadays. Like this amazing collapsible shovel that easily fits in our storage space

I honestly think that anyone living in an area that gets a lot of snow needs something like this in their car. It could literally be a lifesaver. This week we had to dig out the Jeep and this is what we used to get through a large majority of the piled-up snow around it.

The next item I have totally fallen in love with are snowshoes. There are so many types of snowshoes and everyone will have to determine what is best for them, but man, are they fun. Not only are they much easier to walk in because they grip the snow and stop back slip in your boots. This means that you aren't losing energy as you walk. Additionally, you can walk more efficiently in snowshoes. All of these things are great benefits, but this is not the biggest reason I say they are number 2 for snowmobile gear, is that you can use them to stomp down the snow, packing it so that tires or tracks can grip and roll forward. I packed about half of the snow we had to deal with around the Jeep simply by walking around in my snowshoes.

This is similar to what I bought but they work well. Surprisingly, it is fairly easy to learn to snowshoe, the big issue is knowing how to get back up if you fall down. Not only did my snowshoes help while digging out the Jeep, it also helps loads if you get the snowmobile stuck in soft snow. I'm very surprised at how much I enjoy this activity. I still get tired but I can move far more easily in snowshoes and they are very easy to transport on the 'sled'.

The final S for snowmobiling is for SNACKs. It is important to keep high-energy snacks with you when you are out. If the sled were to get stuck or broke, snacks are needed for the trek out or the energy needed to get 'unstuck'. We have been carrying a good mix of nuts in our packs when we travel. One important note though is that if you carry snacks, take them off of your sled when you are parked. More on that later. These special treats were sent to me by a dear friend and have been a great lightweight snack.

Although these snacks seem safe and secure as it is individually packaged they are not raven-proof. Ravens are incredibly smart and resourceful. We left our backpack on the sled for a few minutes to go into the gift shop and when we came back out the Ravens (cackling in the trees) had unzipped the backpack and stolen our snacks. Thankfully there wasn't much left since we had gobbled most of them up on our trip to West Thumb in search of otters. Sadly, the lake is not yet frozen so the otters were nowhere to be found.

As 2021 comes to a close and 2022 begins I hope to get back to writing blogs about living in Yellowstone to share with you. I don't think I know what I'm doing but I do like to share what I'm up to.

So Happy New Year, see you on the flip side.

Don't forget that even though I'm no longer rolling I am still writing and if you missed it here is my free Christmas Short:

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