This is part of Lake Mary. In this season, it's just a wide open plain - smooth, white, virgin powder for open spans to the shady forest and old fence posts and shot up street signs and rusty tin cans.
As the holiday craze was starting to mellow out, we found ourselves gliding across the White without a soul to be seen in any direction. It is quite magical - part voyage and part slow-motion meditation.
Appropriately dressed in blue jeans, juwels' movie star glasses (lost my blue blockers), and my new "puffy jacket". I was ready for the expedition .. well, after I squeezed into pauls wife's skiing bib .. she's a tiny Asian girl, but somehow, I made it work ... just had to hold my breath most of the time ; )
This thing sounded like an old steel ship scraping along the highway at 50 miles an hour. Still haven't gotten used to seeing these mechanical monsters without a bit of wonder and fear .. nothing like it in LA besides the street sweeper, which could easily take away your food or rent money if you were unlucky enough to park in the wrong spot on the wrong day. .. guilty ; (
With the dogs geared up (paul had greased their paws so the snow wouldn't stick, and harnessed Huck ((black and white dog)) so he could tie him up and mush him along with a "ya, ya, yaaa", we set off down the short hill through an opening in the barbed wire fence leading to the frozen lake bed.
Well .. first ... I fell, just standing in place and waiting to go. Did I mention I'd only done this once before - two days prior? ; )
As you can tell, the sky was variant with blue and grey and sun and snow, and the wind moved things around so quickly that we skied through winter and spring and summer and back to winter in the first hour. We enjoyed them all as fleeting and different ... right into the last big storm we found ourselves in.
Huck and Emma found something lying dead under the snow, dug it up, and then rolled in it. It's times like those when I'm happy to be just the uncle ; )
For some reason - I kept calling the snow 'sand' .. maybe neurons firing from a past life as a gypsy traveler on camel back? This was a trek, though, for sure. This is where the meditation, swish-swosh, aspect came into play. I suppose anything repetitive can become a meditation if you just let the physical body do the work.
In the middle of the empty lake bed stood this burned and gnarled tree trunk like a totem pole who'd done battle with lightning. Paul climbed up the knots and foot holes to peek into the hollow. As juwels and I laid at the base, eating handfuls of powder and watching the dogs carve figure eights in the snow, paul tossed a few odd looking bones into my lap.
"Must be an owls perch .. where it eats."
There's something so light and wonderful about being cradled by the fresh snow, sunken perfectly to your size and shape. I didn't grow up with snow .. or sand for that matter. I only planted roots in California once I met juwels, and the dessert was my home before that. This is only my second "real" winter, and I'm lapping it up - every snowflake ; ) I could've slept here .. if the dogs would've stopped stepping on my head. I finally started lobbing loose snowballs in the air for Huck to chase and chomp.
Here he is, mid-chomp ; )
Across the lake and into the forest, it was a bit more of an obstacle course: humps and bumps, fallen trees and low branches. We all fell in this place. But falling is not the problem .. getting back up is the real challenge. It's a bit like being completely drunk with five foot shoes made of cement - in the snow.
At the end of our outward trail, when we'd popped out of the forest and into another open valley, we all sat on a downed tree rising above the snow. Paul greased the mutt's paws again, I threw some more snow balls, juwels shot photos, and then one of us saw the mostly in tacked structure of an old cabin way in the distance. Juwels and I wanted to try and make it there, but paul was leery of the fast fading sun and dark clouds. We were a day off from the full moon, and I figured we'd still have moonlight even if we lost the sun on the way back. There were gun shots off in the distance (in the direction we'd come from) and without fully coming to an agreement, paul started heading off in the direction of the cabin.
Literally 3 minutes later, the clouds swept in from both sides like two giant hands, and we found ourselves in thick gusting whirls of snow. We kept going for a bit, but then thought better of it and turned back towards our tracks in the woods and home. By the time we popped back into the lake bed, it was sunny again, and our tracks had been swept clean and covered in by the brief storm.
I think we'll have to buy a couple sets of skies for the season. (rented and borrowed this time) It's a cross between taking your very first steps on earth . . and walking on water ; )
loVe, your snow bunnies,