When I first moved here, I didn't quite understand what one my neighbors meant when he said he either lived in shorts or snowpants. I figured snowpants were a skier or snowboarder thing. Walkabouts for me consisted of boots, a few times, out in the badlands of eastern Colorado, perhaps some coveralls if it was cold and the wind was blowing polar-cap.
Our first meeting with Miguel Loco was the day we purchased our snowshoes. It has been lucrative acquaintance in terms of gear and acquired knowledge. I have mentioned before he's the master and I the student. He's so proud of how far I've come. That first day, though, partway through our first winter, he became incensed when he found out I was hiking in the snow on jeans.
"Not on my watch you're not!" He said, handing me my first pair of snowpants. "You will wear these. Cotton kills."
I gave that line about the murderous nature of cotton to a reoccurring character of mine. Of course, part of that character was inspired by Miguel Loco. Maybe I should tell him that someday. He'll either be flattered or punch me.
We snowshoed to a ruin we'd not visited in a few years. Not much had changed. We talked about perhaps camping there come summer. It wasn't even within a mile of home.
In our snow gear we were quite comfortable. It was then, frolicking in the snow that I began to understand what that neighbor meant all those years ago. Like him, these days, I either live in shorts or snowpants, and the living is quite comfortable, like a second skin.