Today when the ponies and I started out on our 5 mile drive (in which we gained 500 feet in altitude) it was windy and chilly but that was it. Half way into the drive the snow started to come down. Within a few minutes there was a layer of snow on the ground and it was blowing heavily into my face, making it so I could not see a thing. But I was committed to the drive so we kept going.
By the time we made it to the top, to our turn around point, there were several inches on the ground, I was completely COATED in ice and snow, as were the ponies, and you couldn't even see our tracks as we made our way back down the hill!
I find myself to be a juxtaposition at times like these. If I was home when the storm blew in I would have thought, "Thank goodness I decided to stay home!" but if I'm out in it when it blows in, I am so happy to see the fat flakes start to fall. I am in heaven walking and trotting through the snow as it starts to pile up. I am so grateful for the chance to be out in the ultimate quiet that occurs when snow falls as heavily as it fell today. Even if I'm covered in snow and ice.
So, how do I stay warm so I CAN feel the gratitude and not be miserable? This year I decided to add some merino wool clothes to my closet. I have read great things about this natural fiber and today they totally proved themselves!
My base layer is a long sleeved T-shirt from Duckworth Co. This is the Women's Vapor. I bought the XL because I wanted it to be loose fitting. It fits beautifully! And it's not itchy at all. And the best part? I can just toss it into the washing machine. (You are supposed to lay flat to dry, but twice I've accidentally put it in the dryer and nothing adverse happened. I think if I were to keep drying it it might start to pill...)
Then I wore a plain lightweight long sleeved hooded sweatshirt.
Next up, the Powder from Duckworth Co. This is an amazing outer layer. It has a high neck that I can bury my nose in when it starts to get too cold from the wind. I bought the pretty blue one, in the XL and it fits perfectly, nice and loose, so I can layer under it:
Then I had on my Carhart vest. I HATE jackets so I will often choose to layer and top it off with my vest. Plus the Carhart women's vest has lots of wonderful POCKETS. There is a zipper chest pocket as well as TWO inside pockets and then the two pockets for your hands (or pony cookies...). I have a the beautiful chocolate brown:
I have the WoolX midweight leggings, but to be 100% honest, today I would have liked to have the heavy weight AND my Arctic Horse Riding Skirt! (The skirt is too long for my bike and I don't want to risk getting it caught in the wheels. I still need to buy the shorter version for use with the bike!) I have the XXL leggings and they are a little bit too big. I could have probably wore another pair of leggings under them and maybe should have today. BUT I was coated in ice and snow and when I got home and brushed that ice and snow off my leggings were DRY under that. My legs were cold but I was not wet. I'm telling you, wool is amazing!
I am going to be purchasing the Powder Pants by Duckworth Co. Because today they would have been the perfect outer layer, over my WoolX leggins:
I wear heavy wool socks and my hiking boots most days. My feet were actually quite warm today! Sometimes I wear my Arctic Bog Boots but my feet always get super cold in those. And when the deep snow hits and we have the sled out, I will wear my Sorel snow boots most of the time. They are the high kind that come up over my calves and I love them!
That's it in a nut shell! My warm winter wardrobe!