That was a pretty impressive windstorm the day before. One meteorological oracle mentioned gusts being recorded between thirty-five and eighty miles per hour. Despite their viciousness, there was a taste of chinook to their countenance. I would record the day's high at fifty degrees. By night, the winds had abated.
With the morning came the assessment and clean up of damage; some property funk-because you gotta have the funk!-had been knocked about. It wasn't much effort to fix this. Surprising, given how the house groaned and shook in those gales, but I don't complain. If re-hanging a couple strings of Tibetan prayer flags is the worst thing that happens to me in a day, then I am doing all right.
It was with excitement as I did these quick chores I realized the next two days would be spent in adventure clothes; this time of year meaning shell-pants-not as heavy as snowpants-and my snow boots. Whilst I am generally not the type to divide my wardrobe into work/play/party/walkabout clothes-that's entirely too much time and effort-I also can clean up nice enough for the magistrate and matron's holiday party that does not include me looking like I just came down off of Bierstadt in a blizzard.
There are girls and some-for the most part gay-men I know who have shoes for every occasion. Most of my shoes have to do with walking, from the snow boots to the as-long-as-it's-a-dry-trail-but-better-for-town-shoes. One girl had a pair she called her-and I am not making this up-walk-like-a-slut-shoes. I tried to emulate her gait in those things once and got laughed at. Uproariously. I took this in stride, for I am awkwardly and otherwise aberrantly put together, and if you don't believe me, come with me some time to Miguel Loco's when I try on a jacket or a long-sleeve mid-layer. It is both high comedy and utter frustration.
For the last two Tuesdays I'd promised Milarepa a walkabout, but other obligations got in the way. Time came to make good on a marker. It was one of those clear deep winter days I do enjoy; light breeze and warm sun. The type where a thermal and t-shirt almost seems excessive and your mid layer and shell stay inside your pack the whole time. I wore a cap instead of a beanie for the first time about a month.
The Maine Mine. Ours were the only tracks...
Although, I strap them to my pack-better to be over-prepared than under-I have never used my snowshoes on the 730. We encountered one person using a set on the way up, and he told me it was an exercise in futility. When we arrived at the ruins of the Maine, halfway to the mine for which the trail is named, the snow, whilst deep in places, wouldn't have warranted shoes. Even if we did both post-hole a few times wandering about the ruins.
I might be anthropomorphizing, but that looks like one happy hound...
Lately, when Milarepa and I have done the 730, we don't go much further than the Maine. I joked the ruins are our little clubhouse. Soon enough, we'll do that push all the way up the monument to see Clifford. This summer, I want to do some off-trail exploring of Brown's Gulch. Tales of other ruins, some not so picked over, ring in my ears.
Brown's Gulch, like Kearny, is pretty steep. Sabina once trekked some of Brown's with me and did not enjoy it. Milarepa is pretty intrepid, and, like Whistler would do, cries if I climb up something she cannot. It really doesn't bother me to have some trails I explore be ones I only take a hound. Sometimes, four-legged companionship is better than two.