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   Today I broke out the snowshoes for the first time this winter. With 12 inches of new powder, it was no longer possible to walk my trail without them. There is nothing like breaking a trail on shoes through a new snowfall - the deeper the better. I don't know what it is that makes it so special - maybe a connection to the past when it was the only way you could travel in the winter woods, a unity with the trappers and woodsmen of the past eras. I think it's partly the feeling that you are traveling into a place that others can't go on foot, entering into a special new world where others cannot follow.  Sue and I only use wooden snowshoes which are beautifully crafted and functional.  Not only do we use them but have a habit of collecting them in any fixable condition. I have the first pair I ever got as a teen. We also have the pair that Sue's grandmother used to walk to school as a child. We have pairs that have been worn out and re-laced, broken and mended. Most of our shoes were made here in Maine. Paris, Maine was once considered the snowshoe capital of the world. Finding an old set of shoes from Paris is a treasure.  I think anyone who enjoys winter in Maine should experience a trip back into time floating on top of a fresh powder snow strapped to a pair of wooden shoes.
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