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Let me start by explaining that I was not raised to love the outdoors.

I didn't grow up spending family vacations camping. (As you may recall, my childhood family vacations only involved the Virgin Mary, and I guess she never appeared in the woods because we never went there.) I wasn't taught how to identify poison oak. (Actually, I still don't really know and often get it confused with wild berry plants, which probably sounds ridiculous, but that is the truth.) And I sometimes got in trouble for playing outside. (I'm not even kidding -- my mom used to yell things like: "Don't chase the ice cream man! You'll get kidnapped!")

Yet somehow I found myself waking up at 4:30 this morning to go snowshoeing at Fisher Lake, just outside Tahoe.

I spent the day trudging up and down steep, icy hills in extremely awkward footwear. (Note to self: Next time, be aware that choosing an "intermediate" eight-mile hike for your first snowshoe experience is a little, shall we say, ambitious.)

Everything was white and punctuated by bits of pine tree (we could only see the tops of some -- they were so buried in snow) and rock. Even Fisher Lake itself was covered.

I fell twice: Once, sliding down a hill on my butt (awesome), and the second time, accidentally stepping on one of my snowshoes and tripping myself (perhaps even more awesome).

But I survived. And I kind of want to go again.

(I think I am a mashochist.)

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