Sunday, March 22, 2015

In winter's claws

Some people hate to let go of winter.

Sometimes winter hates to let go.

This year, the cold keeps coming, and with it the wind. Here we are, two days into spring -- by the calendar -- with a high temperature of 18 degrees and a frigid wind blasting from the west at 10-20 miles per hour with gusts to 40. It swoops on the landscape like a great bird of prey, ready to snatch up any warm body that dares to scamper across its path. It pounces on the timid. The only way to deal with it is to meet it with your own ferocity. For an hour or so, anyway. Then get the hell inside and have something warm to drink.

As a bike commuter, I am more than ready to put away my car and get back to pedaling. But as a skier and a practical person, I'll keep using the ski conditions we have. Who knows when they'll be back? Winters seem to be all or nothing anymore. So maybe the next one will be another epic or maybe a muddy slog. Gather ye ski days while ye may.

I would have no worries at all if I wasn't running out of firewood. Fortunately, as daylight gets longer the sun helps take the edge off during the day. Just don't sit still for long. The house that felt warm when you walked in from the frigid gale feels less like a nest when your metabolism slows down.

Can't complain about the skiing. The ridiculously bitter cold has kept our snow from sizzling away completely in the strengthening sunshine. Because business has slowed way down at the shop, as it does at the end of every winter, our groomer can put in plenty of time to till up and smooth out the trails. We have basically full coverage. The skating is particularly fast. Like, "holy crap, that's fast!"

The rare thaw days are slow. They probably seem even slower in contrast to the days on either side of them.

Rain in the forecast for mid-week may spell the end of all skiing. It has to come eventually. The snow won't hold up to several days of wetness and warmth.

I'm really glad I got to feel this good before we have to put away the skis for a few months. It had been too long.

No comments: