Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Days You Wait For

Slipped away this afternoon, spanning mid-day, really, to wander up the back mountain and rip a few runs through the logging cuts and glades.

It's not as secluded as it used to be. People who had a cabin up and to the right are building a castle now. It's completely off-grid and supposedly still just for seasonal and occasional use, but it's huge and not as high up the mountain. The original cabin sat in a hollow near a stream. This monster sits on a ridge. It's screened by trees, more or less, but that just makes it easier to stumble on. I don't know how workers are getting there with all this snow, but I hear them every time I go out. Today was no exception.

I'd stayed to my right going up, in the cover of woods beside a recent cut. This took me near the top of some hemlock glades I hadn't visited in a while. That's when I heard the radio and realized I'd strayed close to the Tyvek cliff. The house blends in amazingly well. Suddenly you notice not only that it's there, but that it's gigantic. I cut left and dropped into a nice line. Once I had the curve of the hill between me and the building I angled up and left.

Playing the contours I traversed toward a drainage with more conifer glades. I didn't plan to reach it, but got there before I knew it. Rather than get drawn into the longer runs (and longer climbs back out) I turned back toward Lower Bobcat Rocks, where we'd seen some scat at the end of last winter. The sun hit the pinkish granite alluringly. It looked like a good place to bask.

The slope, the spaces and the snow encouraged long, angling runs back toward the rocks. The rocks themselves didn't offer a place to perch. No matter. I would drop a little through the trees, stop and look around, drop a little further. The sky turned a high-altitude navy blue through my polarized sunglasses if I tilted my head just right.

The older cuts are growing up in saplings now. In a narrow stance I could cut through at a steady speed. Any attempt to turn harder or stop short would have ended in a foolish heap. The snow was sticky in the sun, too. Once you get moving in snow like that you want to keep moving. So after every halt to enjoy the peace and sunshine I had to kick start the next section.

You do your time the rest of the winter to get to March. I do my time on the groomies to be in shape for the better getaways to places untracked. This was just a taste, but high grade. Sunny days in March are the brightest we see all year, with light from above and below. Premium stuff.

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