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.


Both Sides of Ben Marlan said...

sounds nice.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

and your photos look like your paintings!

Gallow said...

I've run some races on those trails. Their is a section where all the pines were planted about the same time. They're very tall now. There are a lot of pine needles on the trail. I love that part of the trail.

Have a great trip.