The wind howled all night long, whipping around the 5+ inches of new snow dropped by the storm. I tossed and turned, hearing our windows rattle and the moan of the gale. What I didn’t hear was the crack of falling trees.
It wasn’t until I ventured out in the still-dark morning, backing out of our unplowed driveway and inching down our remote road that I noticed the downed power line and a shadowy hulk that loomed beyond my headlights. A tall pine tree claimed the road from edge to edge. My trip to the pool at the Y was scuttled. Our little strip of 4 houses have only one way out and it was blocked.
The power company was on it right away, severing the line and carting it away. But the tree remained. There was only one thing to do. Ditch the swimsuit for my snowshoes.
At 6-degrees with a fierce wind still raging, I had to dig for all my warm layers, find my gaiters, heat up some hand and toe warmers. The minutes fled as I wriggled into my stack of insulation and struggled to bend over far enough to lace my boots. Did I really want to do this?
As soon as I crossed the street and headed down the multipurpose mountain bike trails, I knew the answer was Yes. In the silence of the woods, the only sound was the wind in the trees and the creak of my left snowshoe. Surprisingly, someone had beaten me out there and I followed boot tracks down the narrow path. I mentally thanked COGGS for creating these twisty, curvy and playful trails with short bridges over deep gaps.
I lost the footprints about a mile into my trek when they disappeared down a steep embankment. Hmmm, really? Continuing on, I relished the unmarked snow even if it was more of a challenge to discern its route. My favorite bits were the hairpin curves, steeply banked for the cyclists and carving a luge-like chute still discernable through the drifts. The sun was high enough to lay shadows across the snow, and I admired the snow’s artwork on pine branches. It was a morning for taking in my surroundings, letting my whirring brain slow and being in the present.
My nose reminded me that it was exposed to this cold and wind, requiring periodic warmups from my bare hand. But my hand and toe warmers blazed, keeping my other most vulnerable body parts toasty. I trudged on, warming my core with the effort even while breathing in the crisp cold air. I was in no hurry to finish and let my footsteps lead me on down the trail.
Why did I think this was a good morning for swimming? Because it was cold and windy? Nature knew better. This outdoor fix beats chlorine any day. I didn’t mind being trapped one little bit.