Post 9/11, we're told, people have been seeking solace in the wilderness. Couple that with the fact that snowshoeing was already booming, and this winter sport may become so popular that Big Foot flees to warmer climes. Ironically, the beauty of snowshoeing is escaping the crowds -- you're not trapped at mid-Vail with several thousand ski snobs -- while enjoying the great outdoors. Be warned: When you pull into the parking lot at Brainard Lake, things may not look auspicious. So many people are standing around their cars, preparing to hoof it, that it may seem like you'll be moving in herds. But the area quickly absorbs them all. You can snowshoe on the road around the lake (closed to cars in the winter), bushwhack toward more expert areas, or risk the cross-country trails -- but don't stomp on the skiers unless you want a blister on your butt.