"Let us walk in the white snow in a soundless space; with footsteps quiet and slow, at a tranquil pace, under veils of white lace...We shall walk in velvet shoes: wherever we go silence will fall like dews on white silence below. We shall walk in the snow."

~ "Velvet Shoes" by poet Elinor Wylie



"Snowshoes or boots, either is fine," said Bluff Country Hiking Club member Tim Gossman, anticipating the group's candlelight hike into the Lost Creek Trail this Saturday, Jan. 26, as part of Chatfield's Chill Fest celebration. "I just hope we get some more snow."

The hike is open to "anyone, any age," and the leader stated, "The activity promotes using the trail as it is designed to be used - to enjoy being outside and active year-round."

Gossman added that this is a great activity and an ideal way to be introduced to snowshoeing for those who may not be familiar with it.

"For those who are unsure of where the trail is, they will become familiar with the location - the trail will only be lit from Magnum road to the Opat Bridge, and the distance is about one mile," he said. "There are a couple of steep hills up and down, however, there is a net decline in elevation. If you can climb two flights of stairs, without difficulty, you will be fine."

Gossman pointed out that if one does not have the necessary equipment to participate, snowshoes are available through Chatfield Community Education.

"Snowshoers can contact Chatfield Community Ed at (507) 867-4210 to reserve their snowshoes and to arrange to pick them up before the hike," Gossman explained. "Early reservations are recommended as the snow shoes for adults are more limited in number."

The candlelight walk is lit by flameless candles and the silver moon.

Gossman noted, "We use LED 'flickering candle' lights which have become popular recently. It's not necessary to bring their own lights, but people have worn headlights in the past. There should be a full moon. The lights wind their way through the forest. It is fun to imagine you are deep in the woods while only hiking one mile."

The Bluff Country Hiking Club's Chill Fest hike is happening, no matter the mercury, as according to Gossman, there is no reschedule date.

Participants should meet at Groen Park on Chatfield's west side, just off County Road 2, at 5:30 p.m. and be dressed warmly.

He advised, "Because of the maintained parking lot there (at Groen Park), it will be important to leave your car there and be dropped off and picked up at the designated locations. Participants will be shuttled to Magnum Road and hike down to the Opat Bridge. Dress in layers and dress to be comfortable moving around for about 30 minutes."

For more information on how to walk in "velvet shoes," contact Tim Gossman at Root River State Bank, (507) 867-4120.