It seems evidence like no other when incredible opportunities manifest and come together on the spur of the moment. Consecrated by several days of snow. That was this weekend.
AK KAte, from 5 years and glaciers past, swung through CO on the tail-end of a two month tour of the lower 48. It just so happens to be her birthday weekend and we were favored with a marvelous opportunity to make an early season trip to a tucked away mansion in the back-country.
The Real World was waylaid as of Thursday afternoon, when a co-worker loaned us beacons, shovel, and probe. Back-country winter safety starts at home. We spent that night burying one transceiver (beacon) in the snow and took turns finding it.
Investment level: Our Lives.
We then brushed up with ‘The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Game.”
Friday morning KA and I went to my most goodest favorite breakfast joint, the Inxpot at Keystone. From there it was a flurry of gear and packing, running for buses and finally, a rendezvous with Huckleberry.
Followed by another series of stops and shops and Girls’ Club hit the Spruce Creek trailhead around 3. Up a snowy drainage for just over a mile to our destination.
I have to admit, I’m not much of a shoe girl; so, knew something was headed in the wrong direction when I packed 4 pair of shoes for the escapade (downhill ski boots [heavy], cross-country ski shoes [3 pin bindings, baby], hut shoes, and boots just to get to the trail-head).
Not to mention, the 2 pairs of skis.
This being a first adventure of its kind, I am inclined to give myself grace.
The uphill climb on decades outdated equipment was not so forgiving.
Here I began to summate a recent musing. Allowing thoughts to sift as we climbed through gently falling snow and a settling chill.
Just because something is comfortable doesn’t mean it is best, just as what is uncomfortable doesn’t mean it is bad.
We made the hut by nightfall and the much more experienced and adept boys flew up some time later. With the confidence and ease we needed to bolster into this new landscape, they guided through the weekend in phenomenal knowledge and gumption.
But that first night, we kept occupied habituating and naturalizing.
The next day we forayed up and across to a ‘knoll’ on the south wall of the valley. A herd of mountain goats ambled in profile atop a ridge some thousands of feet above. The snow was deep just here, deep enough to ski. So ski
we they did.
The sum of joys encountered out there lie in every moment, as individual and composites; therefore, infinite combinations of utter fulfillment exist within a finite span of time. From the mountains around to our Dasein actions. Passing from warm hut into chilly air and vice-versa. Warm breath on chilled digits or warm face on cool windowpane. Snow crystals flutter in sun, shadows wink and stretch. Clouds ebb and flow. All is well as all is true as all is absolute.
Not ready to face the end of finite, our hopes were heard and we were endowed another night. Made the best of the blessing and maximized on it, ending the day with Tricky Dick ruling card games and a jiffy pop crescendo.
I stepped away for a moment, through a camera lens and bore witness. They crowded around the tiny kitchen burner, as intent and enthralled by the jiffy-pop as small children at the Circus.
Each whom I esteem greatly; all the more so for their wonderment. Overcome by the privilege of it.
Jiffy-pop space age bubble bursts loudly; snap gratefully back into the present.
The hut was comfortable and cozy; in fact, better than that. It was easy to exist there. Especially made so by the combination of good will and earnest effort. From splitting wood to sunrise skis, the boys kept the bases covered. Water was a near constant process, as was eating, dishes, there are always chores; all shared with easy grace.
Note: when winter adventuring, bring extra food. (Suggestions- Cutie Clementines, apples, cheese, herbed salami shaft, more cheese)
The second day went much as the first, only everything flowed more easily. Helped along by two pots of coffee, we set out in different directions, this time each closer attuned to the applications of our particular equipment.
Gathered in, put final touches on tidying and ended on a glorious up-note, skiing down the mountain back to the trail head. Passed The Man Himself, headed up the hill. We briefly saluted and continued flying and squealing and whooping and whizzing down.
It was a blast.
Having now seen and tasted the experiences available with the right set-up, it begins to tip the scale on my aversion to the financial investment.
Mowwed down at Empire Burger then home for a nap, dinner, and living room yoga party.
Now a tall glass of water and a long drink of bed.
Life is blessed.