I got out of bed to a brief blast of snow. Nary a dusting. I brewed lapsang souchong for the occasion, and, as the sun has come out to melt the fluff, I questioned if it was a waste of time. Stepping outdoors, it's cooler than it's been the last few days, but it doesn't feel like winter, instead early spring. That sense, the smell of mud, has been around for since the sun came back.
Is winter's back broken already?
Perhaps I should not be surprised. Autumn came early this year, so, it follows spring might too. It still snows in spring up here. Fuck, I've seen snow in summer. Remember; mountains. I don't mind the mild air, despite my layers to be out in pretty well anything. As long as we have a decent snowpack, I'll deal. There can be the deep snow for shoeing up higher-although, hopefully not cement and mashed potatoes-and snow not so deep I post-hole here closer to home. I could dig that.
Last week, it snowed six inches of heavy wet warm snow on what would've been a free day for me. Sabina went snowshoeing with one of her pals whilst I covered for Sempai at obligations whilst he engaged in a preservation conference. Professional capital, I rationalized. Besides, I got to have the Matron volunteer with me, which doesn't happen as much as it used to, and that's a treat. At times, she seems less able to suffer fools than I during a roadway closure.
After six days of straight professional obligations and nearly a fortnight from being out on walkabout, after sleeping until I got up, we hit the trail. Like an acquaintance of mine, we started out one destination in mind, but ended up bushwhacking to another.
Sabina was intentionally artistic whilst I was unintentionally rockstar...
We had been to the Snowdrift Mine about five years back. A couple of the buildings and the boiler are still in fairly decent shape. There was graffiti indicating that someone had been there a year ago, and a mark from a neighbor from 1997, which we intend to show him the photograph of the next time we see him. It was a lovely warm day for bushwhacking and scrabbling. When we finally got back down, we noted the local watering hole was open. I ran Milarepa home and we went for a shot and beer and loco camaraderie.
Recently, we had a city acquaintance asking for an afternoon hangout-on a Sunday!-and we had to decline. The practical reasons were twofold; my daughter's visiting, which is first and foremost, but also, during either ski or summer tourist season, driving east on a Sunday is an exercise in road rage and formidable patience. Besides, and I seriously think perhaps only Sabina and my daughter understand this, I left the city, and have worked very hard to insure the only reason I need to go down there is for familial obligations, which, ten times out of nine, I still try to get out of.
Caustic of me? Oh, perhaps. Remember; misanthrope.
However, there are those I want to see the funk-because you gotta have the funk!-of our Sahel. To go on a walkabout or have a cocktail over at our little cantina, which, sometimes is only open because the proprietors decided they themselves wanted to have a drink, but, then, again, what better reason? Perhaps have a meal and listen to some music or sit outside to watch the sunset and the unfolding of the stars away from the light pollution of the greater metroplex.
Such are the thoughts that ricochet through my skull on what is potentially an early spring day. I finish my tea and start my breakfast before walkabout. My daughter will be up in a few days and I cannot wait to see her. I know it will snow again, but I question whether or not even a vicious blizzard would carry winter's harsh bite. Perhaps it doesn't matter, just as long as the snowpack is such we don't have to worry about wildfires come summer.