Snow in the Forecast

There's a winter storming today, for weather that poses an "imminent threat to life and property" according to the weather service. Which is a bit melodramatic, to say the least. Eight inches of snow is not a hazard, it is a blessing. Yesterday I went for a walk with Annie and Paul up behind their house and the Salvation Army. The ground was frozen and mostly bare. We wore crampons and carried snowshoe poles. It was cold, about 14 degrees, but we quickly warmed up climbing the very steep wooded and rocky slope.  The ground under the trees was hard and mostly bare with a frosting of white. It was Annie's birthday, she's 61, and Paul is about ten years older. As we picked our way straight up, or so it seemed, my knees were quivering, and more than once I had to tell myself not to look down, or to think about how I would walk back to their yard without tumbling to my death. (We took a gentler route.) I really hoped the crampons would not slip. When we got out of the trees into a bit of snow, Annie said to lean away from the slope, a counter intuitive act of faith if ever there was one. Paul said to trust my equipment, and spoke of walking across a tilted ice sheet near the top of  Mt. Logan that was so hard his crampons didn't make a mark. When we climbed up to the clearing below the last cliff, there was enough snow for Annie to make a little seat in. She instructed me to dig my heels in and do the same. Paul sat on the other side.From high up on our perch,  we looked over the frozen town, the white streets and backyards, the inlets on both sides, some twinkling lights,  Mt. Riley beyond, and the gray sky above and our world all around. Paul said we could use some snow, and Annie and I agreed. One man's hazard is another's pleasure.

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