Sunday, January 10, 2010
A week of winter
Ran out for a late afternoon cross-country ski today up at Hammond Hill. We've had a lot of snow fall in the last week, and it's been cold enough that all the fluffiness is still on the trees. The sun was just hitting the horizon and I had to stop and stare for a few minutes at the beautiful solitude. Trail conditions were good once I got off the well-beaten paths, the last zippy tree-dodging downhill was very very sweet.
I know these trails winter and summer, having grown up here XC skiing from the tender age of 4 (yup, that's right....just try keeping up with me!) and riding them on my mountain bike when the snow is gone. It's important to me to know a forest (or at least a grove of trees if living in a more urban situation) where I feel welcome and at home. I've lived in a lot of places, and in each of those places I bonded with some patch of nature. In Oregon it's the trail by the ranger station next to the river; in Florida, the scrubby trails behind the farm. In Santa Cruz the amazing redwood forest behind the campus; in Michigan all the trails around Au Sable through the beautiful north woods. Back in college on the outskirts of Philadelphia, I retreated to the patch of woods on the campus when I needed to clear my head (there's a big road through that forest now).
(Hmmmm, this is all leading down a longer path than expected, perhaps I'll pick up on the theme of our need for solitude and nature again soon but not right now because I need to get some sleep and am verging on incoherence).
I head to Thailand in a week, so am trying to fit in as much winter as possible before arriving in the tropics. Will be maximizing my ski potential.