|Time for Puff Daddy! I heart this puffy.|
Of course, I don't have demons and I wouldn't resort to the gun. Life is too beautiful to leave without a fight. This is a transition time, my own sort of restless hibernation, and while I don't like it as much as the sugar rush of summer, it's all part of living here.
Unlike my seasonal tribe mates, back in the day I never took unemployment, kicking back to ski all winter or travel to balmy climates (though now I wonder why I didn't). Instead I scoured the country for jobs, fighting fires, replanting savaged campsites, leading naturalist tours. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like not to work. To wake up every day with hours and hours to fill with whatever adventure you wanted.
November is the month for trying things. Sometimes they work. Running on the moraine can be tricky; sometimes ice fills the two-track. Sometimes wind ruffles the surface of the lake like a hand through hair, making kayaking an extreme proposition. You can haul your skis up the mountain road to Salt Creek and discover an unfortunate crust. It can go your way in November, or it can't.
|These dogs are totally snow-coated but they know how to wait things out.|
You have to roll with it. Today the wind howls at a speed faster than we are allowed to drive on the North Highway. It is a day for being inside, the gym or the hotel pool, back and forth in an endless circle, going nowhere. However, I rolled up to the pool with a sense of resignation, only to learn that the entire hotel is closed for the winter. I stood in front of the door in disbelief. The closest pool from here is now 50 miles, not a journey to be taken lightly.
So here we go. November. It gets gritty this time of year. You go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. You carve out little episodes of time to run, or to write, or do whatever sustains you. You know deep inside that better times are coming and that you have to find things that make life good in November. You write like a fiend on your memoir and your novel. You run more than you have all summer, because there isn't good backpacking to be had, and winter camping is still an iffy proposition. You contemplate running a 10K in the summer, or not. You make yummy crockpot meals. You split wood, with the satisfying chunk of rounds falling into pieces. You plan your next long hike and coax people into trail angeling for you. It's your own kind of hibernation. It works. Like the bears, you will emerge from this stronger and better.
|White dogs at the backcountry ski hut.|