Winter Homestead Hiking.

I rolled out of bed around 6:45am, which is a little more than two hours later than I usually wake. During the weekday I crawl into the gym at 5am, which means I am up at 4:20am, leaving me just enough time to slam a glass of water, brush my teeth, warm my Jeep for about 5 minutes, and drive into town to the gym.

Today, Sunday, was different. I didn't have to work this weekend; a rarity. I slid out of bed, made tea, and started breakfast, noticing the sun was higher in the sky. The days are getting longer. My soul is getting happier.

Today is my favorite kind of day. Since I've been a small child my favorite day is a winter day where snow blankets the ground, the skies are a bright blue, there's not a single cloud, and the sun is brilliant. It's today. 

So, after church, we lunched. Every conceivable vegetable in the fridge was washed and diced for a salad, including whipping up a quick Greek vinaigrette that was shaken up in a glass jar. No more than minutes after dropping our dirty dishes in the sink, the cabin was abuzz.

"Where are my gloves? No. The good ones that are warmer."

"Are you going to wear this neck warmer?"

"I'll take those boots over here, please."

"Is my fleece hat in that basket?"

It was time to hike. To patrol the property. To explore. To feel the sun on our faces. And the wind.

The snow is deep in many places, making for a good leg workout. 

The air is crisp, but not so crisp that it hardens the ends of my hair. Yes. Today is my favorite kind of day.

The dogs don't join us on this hike. Their short hair and dainty paws tend to put a damper on our long walkabouts. This is their saddest kind of day.

Getting outdoors is the easiest, most economical form of exercise. No equipment required. No monthly memberships. No hidden fees.

The creek behind out cabin is the first place to explore. It's frozen over in most places, and provides easy walking.

A neighbor tipped us off a year or so ago to a special treat in the creek bed. "You have a spring somewhere around here," he noted, wagging a finger.

Ah. Yes. There it is:

There are things that make hikes special. Snowfall, brilliant sunshine, and blue, cloudless skies are the most special of things.

This is my third year participating in the Live Healthy Iowa #10weekchallenge. Our goal is to make healthier choices, one small step at a time. Going on a winter hike, enjoying the beauty of nature while being physically active is one simple change you can make! Several other Iowa bloggers and myself make up the Iowa Food and Family Project team this year. We have a great time encouraging each other to be healthier. Go check out my teammates: 

Lisa C from Midwest Mom Life
Stephanie G from Been There, Baked That
Shari H from Inked & Educated Mom
Katy F from Flint & Co.
Kathy V from Kathy’s Kitchen
Mary L from Farm Girl Cook’n
Alicia S from The Pork Diaries

What is your favorite way to stay active during the winter months? 

Leave a comment! I am giving away a $25 Visa giftcard to a random reader, thanks to Iowa Food and Family Project, and will draw for the winner in two weeks (February 25, 2018). 


  1. Winter hikes are my favorite! It helps that I’m living in a place surrounded by mountains in Germany this winter 😊

    1. Emily! You WIN! I will be in touch with you to get your mailing address.

  2. I love to get out when the sunshine warms you. Sledding with my daughter hiking up the hills and the fun of the sled down is a good fun exercise.

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