Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Minutes Later



S.B. and I were up at dawn in anticipation of crawling the Jeep the three miles to the trail head with the dogs in tow. It's important to me to be first out on the trail after a snowfall so I can break it with snowshoes. People who break trail with just their feet don't realize that what they're doing is dangerous. They create holes that deepen and solidify in the subsequent freeze/thaw cycles, making it nearly impossible to hike, much less run, along a trail without breaking an ankle. What really pisses me off, are the folks that then take their horses in. Not smart.

But the real reason I like to get out first thing in the morning after a huge snowfall is that the world is a completely different place. It's like being on another planet. All sound is blanket muffled and words stop short at the tip of your tongue. Color is drained and space is reduced to two dimensions. Eyes form ghost images against sheets of white and silvery grey, and sometimes it's even difficult to tell up from down. A Rocky Mountain "high" if ever there was one.

From the house, looking south. There's a mountain there, somewhere.


Icicles on the pool pump house. Won't be swimming for a while . . .


The bar is always open at Snow White's Freakin' Wilderness Sanctuary.


Chilly chiles. And a welcome hit of color.

13 comments:

Boxer said...

Beautiful pictures! So glad the Seed Bar is always open for your featherd friends.

I love walking in the snow. I have to drive 1.5 hours to get to my snowy woods, so I'm a leetle jealous you only have to leave your driveway.

I had never realized that snow does remove color. Interesting. Love that. Two years during a big snow here, we took a walk in the woods close to our house and it was one of the best walks I've ever taken. the silence was big.

K9 said...

you know what? youve articulated one of the greatest aspects of snow -that color drain you talked about. and you can see how the land lays. LOVE the feeder. always increased bird traffic doesnt it. but my favorite thing about the snow (here at least) is i can see my dogs wherever they are on the property. without snow, they blend in and i think they are gone but they are home.

beautiful pictures. and cool that you break the trail in properly. what a fine citizen you are -for this -and everything you said at boxers today.

Milk River Madman said...

Moi, I'm looking at getting into snowshoeing and am leaning heavily toward a pair or two of MSR's. Your thoughts? I'm thinking of starting with some Denali's. Can keep them on the snowmobile and they look like a nice GP shoe. If I like them (and doing it) then getting a pair of Lightnings. 30 inchers.

moi said...

Boxer: If you saw how we just got stuck in the driveway, you wouldn't be jealous. Once S.B. winches the Jeep up (traded my beloved Land Rover for it last year, grumble, grouse, grumble), he'll go pick up the new . . . snow blower. Yes. After eight years of Woveling, we have given in to the machine.

K9: Sometimes, everything is just better in monochrome. Clean. Funny you mention dog tracks. When Ivan used to do his winter walkabouts, that's how I'd track him down.

MRM: I've always worn Atlas and Red Feathers, so those would be my recommendations. But whichever you choose, make sure you can get in and out of the binding system easily. In your sleep, even. Because you'll never be so frustrated as trying to get a snowshoe on and off in deep snow and freezing cold weather.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

Talk about a Great veiw! Even if I can't see the mountan. The first walkout in the snow is always fun and exhilarating. And then reality sets in cleaning 480 feet of dock by shovel because the snow blower tears up the dock boards or it leaves a deadly underlying sheet of ice. It's pretty, but I would happily pass.

Hope you get out of the driveway and have a great weekend.

Intuitive Eggplant said...

Oh, yes. The magical silence of snow. I experienced it yesterday morning. Except I was hiking down my city side street to the bus stop in wet snow and the bus was an hour late. I'd much rather experience it where you are, Moi.

Roses said...

Wow. What gorgeous pictures. Snow is beautiful and does change the world.

I'm staying in the warm today. No outside trekking for me if I can possibly help it.

Aunty Belle said...

Very evocative post!

Doan think I realized that ya got that much snow in yore neck o' the woods. Mercy, Chile'! (an' sweet mercy ya took on the birds : ))

Wonderful pics...I can feel "the world in silent stillness lay..."

Thar' is a cup of hot Mocha waitin' when ya get back inside, right?

moi said...

Karl: I worked a slow blower for the first time yesterday. It's love.

Eggy: Urban snow is another matter entirely. Slushy and dirty and annoying. Funny thing, we can get a foot here, and Albuquerque gets . . . rain. Last time it had a major dump of snow was two years ago and the city shut down for two days.

Roses: Sometimes, it snows so much here, it looks like someone dumped a jar of marshmallow fluff on the world.

Aunty: I live in a very strange micro-climate. At the edge of the mountains, about 15 miles from the start of the short grass plains. Which means snow often falls not in inches, but in feet.

LaDivaCucina said...

I know exactly what you are talking about when you are the only one out in the early morn after a snowfall. I'm glad I'm from Michigan and have lived in the snow. But, I only enjoy snow when I don't have to go anywhere.

We are worlds apart, Moi.

Thanks for the beautiful post. xo

Troll said...

A quick dip in the pool would be invigorating, I'd think.

I always wear the Atlas Model XT snowshoe, myself.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Stunning photos.

Didn't know about the trail etiquette, but then we hardly ever have more than a spoonful of snow here (except now, when we have about two feet)

moi said...

La Diva: And you have a hot tub for when it gets, what, into the 60s?

Troll: Invigorating until death by hypothermia. I can't even stand cold water to wash my hands.

Poet: I take it the Revolution Across the Pond stops for snow as well, then?