We are the way we are because of an irrational collection of biases. Take winter boots. I haven’t owned a pair for more than 25 years. Why? Because I remember tramping around the Burlington Mall with my parents when I was a kid wearing winter boots and my feet getting really, really uncomfortably hot. “When I grow up, I’m gonna wear shoes all the time,” I likely said to myself. And so I have.
Generally this works out just fine. Except when there’s a lot of snow on the ground, or a lot of slush, or it’s raining really hard. Which, these days, describes a lot of the time. But I push through, with soggy feet that may not be dry, but at least aren’t really, really uncomfortably hot.
But yesterday, mindful that left to our own devices Oliver and I would fall into our usual pattern of spending Saturday afternoon watching YouTube videos (Oliver) and Seinfeld reruns (me), I reasoned that we should do some sort of outdoor winter activity. As the folks from PEI National Park had recently been singing the virtues of visiting the park in winter, that seemed like as good a choice as any.
Except that even I knew it was foolhardy to go tramping through the woods wearing only bright red Simple-brand sneakers.
So it was off to Marks Work Wearhouse to try and find a pair of boots. Fortunately it’s late in the season, so boots were 60% off. I zeroed in on a pair of rough-and-ready looking camelskin boots (if you’re going to kill something to keep your feet dry, it might as well be a camel, I suppose). $59.95. Sold.
And so, an hour later, we were pulling the car into the parking lot at the Stanhope branch of PEI National Park, ready to tackle the 2.5km long Bubbling Springs Trail. It was cold, but not too cold. There was a harshy wind coming off the ocean, but not too harshy. And so off we headed. After visiting a couple of scenic lookouts, talking about animal tracks (Chapter One for “things every parent must do when walking with their children in nature”) and remarking several times how nice it was to have dry feet, we arrived at the Bubbling Springs.
Eager to capture the moment on film for posterity, I took out my phone and started shooting video. At which point, as you might except, Oliver almost fell into the Bubbling Springs:
Fortunately he didn’t fall into the Bubbling Springs, we carried on our way, and 30 minutes later we were safe in our car with the heat blasting, ready to head back to town.
The PEI National Park really is quite nice in the winter, and if you’re looking for something to do on a crisp winter day, I highly recommend it.