Flashback Sunday: though winter is “officially” over, I’m reminded how fickle and unpredictable it can be!
Write in Front of Me
As I mounted the North flank of Jay Peak in Vermont it became plain that I was going to be snowed in. During my climb ponderous clouds unleashed snowfall. The wind lashed ice pellets at my face with shotgun blast intensity. My breathing was strained, my hands were losing sensitivity, and my field of vision was diminished to mere feet.
I knew the crest was within reach in about ten more minutes of hiking. Even so, I knew that if conditions continued to worsen at the rate I observed them, the trail would become concealed in a torrent of white and I would be stumbling for direction in a blizzard. Instantly I knew what it felt like to be apprehended by a blizzard without reference points.
I fished my compass from my pocket and formed my best calculation, slogging forward through drifts of snow which threatened to bury the way…
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Filed under Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Courage, Decision making, Hiking, Hiking in snow, Living, outdoors, risk, snow storms, Writing
I dreamt of fire last night. In my dream someone had triggered a stove-top fire. I reached for an extinguisher, which I tore from the kitchen wall, and turned back to face the blaze, only to find there were no flames left; the fire had simply extinguished itself.
Maybe this has something to do with the four-plus feet of snow outside my front door. I’m having to get used to walking in a snow canyon to get to the parking space. I have to contend with narrowing roads and snow mountains obscuring traffic at dicey street corners. I hear stories of people chasing others with shovels. Just last week a woman reportedly chased another female neighbor with a snowblower. Yikes!
I have not succumbed to snow rage, but I do have snow fatigue — a weariness which comes from too much shoveling. Yet I did get in my licks on the driveway last week, during a rare sunny afternoon that foretold of the coming warmth of spring. I actually slowed down and enjoyed the rhythm of shovel/walk/dump/walk/shovel, and I removed snow to such a degree that a neighbor called my parking space “manicured.” Imagine! But, as a perfectionist, it’s never as perfect as I would wish, and the forecast of another storm makes me snarl that the forces of nature would yet again undo what I have worked so hard to dig out. Such is life in snow country.
I found myself wishing I had invested in snow shoes back in the fall, but the closest I got was a new pair of winter snow boots; they have had quite a workout.
The blessing in it all is that humor has barged happily in to keep things in some perspective. I’ve imported a few examples into this post. I relish the fact that “meteorological spring” begins March 1.