We’re still waiting. Two days ago at this time snow was falling in earnest. Actually, it didn’t really fall, the wind swirled it in mad circles. Whisking horizontally past the windows. Sticking to the sides of the house. Clinging to the trees. It’s been a long time since the weather service used the word Blizzard. This time it was accurate. Snug inside, I enjoyed watching it rage.
Storming through the night, it finally tapered into delicate flakes as morning dawned. Rich layered up and began the process of digging out. Grabbing the yardstick from my sewing supplies, he took it down to the driveway. Lest he be accused of exaggeration he had proof – 19″. The accumulation took the life of his snowblower and required rigorous sessions of shovel, rest, repeat. All day long.
The news was filled with cancellations, including church services. But no matter, we could travel no farther than the end of our cleared driveway. Living on a remote road, we’re used to being last on the priority list for plowing. So I donned my heavy boots and a backpack for a trip to the grocery store, grateful that it was so close. Preparations for hunkering down.
Having covered the basics, I could hold back no longer. This kind of snow just shouted Snowshoes! And I answered the call. That unplowed road was all that lay between me and forest land, crisscrossed by multi-use trails. Not a sole trod before me, leaving deep pristine snow to explore. Trees hung low, burdened with heavy blankets of snow, blocking my path. Too pretty to disturb, I tried to skirt around them carefully. The slightest bump released a mini-blizzard and sent branches flinging upwards.Silence reigned. Only the plop of my snowshoes and the swish of trying to extricate them from the snowy abyss penetrated the quiet. The sun began its gradual reappearance, signaling the real end of the storm. Solitude worked its magic.Day two dawned clear and cold. The sunlight was as welcome as a rainbow after a thunderstorm. Glistening snow. Endless blue sky. Warming rays of the sun. Still the road remained clogged with snow. There was only one sensible response. Ski it!
7 Bridges Road was rife with snowmobile tracks, boot prints and the occasional ski track. It made for a firm if bumpy surface which beckoned me upwards, crossing bridge after bridge. But the real payoff was at the top. Branching off onto Hawk Ridge the walkers disappeared. Snowmobiles had pummeled the surface into a reliable ski surface. Lake Superior spread out to the horizon, the city of Duluth lay in grids below. The snowbound confines of the house dropped away as civilization lay at my feet.Returning downhill, I wondered if the snowplow had come. If I would have to find a new way home. I’m not sure if I was relieved or disappointed to be able to ski all the way to the driveway. Still snowbound. Still waiting. Time to plan tomorrow’s snowy adventure.