Making Paths

barn

Path to the barn

The snow is piling up, another 3-8 inches are predicted for tomorrow and we already have nearly two feet on the ground.  With the snow comes the need to get through it.  Many people drag out shovels or snow throwers to make walking paths.  I never do.  With pant legs pulled down over the tops of my boots to keep the snow out, I wade through, clearing the way with my feet.

The trail is quickly tramped down by numerous feet until the path is firm, surrounded on both sides by walls of white.  Each storm, I follow the same procedure.  By the end of winter the paths have built up a thick layer of ice and snow.  At the spring melt and mud season, the value of these raised paths becomes apparent.  Not only have I saved many hours of back breaking shoveling, but I’ve made a lane of solid footing through the morass of sinking mud.  The ice paths, sprinkled with a light dusting of wood ash for traction, melt slowly and make easy walking over the muck.

By the time the ice paths have melted away, they are no longer needed.  The rest of the ground has drained enough so the mud is gone.  I’ve made foot paths in this manner for many years, always with the same results.  So, people, save your backs and time.  Don’t shovel that snow, just stomp it down!

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