Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cheating

Whoa there, partner! This post is about cheating the season. 

We got an impressive snow dump the last few days. It's easily a foot in the mountains and half that in town. Those of us who had our snow tires taken off early stared in disbelief, forgetting that really, this is normal. It's just the last couple of years that we've actually had a spring in March. It is, truly, still winter.

I've had a good couple of skiing and snowshoeing days, but sometimes a person craves dry ground. The trouble with being a scout in this county--someone who is on the move to check snow and trail conditions before anyone else--is that you can happily drive someplace only to be denied. But what can you do? Stay home, convinced that the 70% chance of precipitation forecast dooms you to the gym? No, of course not. I optimistically put on waterproof socks and headed out.

Nobody else was at the Devils Gulch trailhead when I arrived. A sullen and unrelenting wind pounded the trees. This didn't look promising, but I was here, so I marched on. Once this used to be one of my favorite running trails. With only a gentle uphill grade, unheard of around here, and a few water crossings, it was the perfect mix of solitude and challenge. (You might have to jump over a few rattlesnakes, but where's the adventure in not? Also, Tough Mudder races make me snicker. Just come to Eastern Oregon. You don't need to pay for a race with obstacles.) 

However, over the years brush and downed trees have reclaimed some of the trail, particularly past the old cabin (probably two miles up) and even before that, pants are a necessity, unless you like looking like you've been in a fight with a couple of cats.

Even so, it's still a nice trail to cheat the season. Here I could see that spring was actually on its way. The sky remained harmlessly blue even as rain and snow circled. I was in a strange little pocket of sun. I even found the remnants of a fire. I poked around but could not see the cause. (It's kind of ominous that this fire spread as far as it did this early, in this high snow year.)
 
I hiked a little ways past the cabin before calling it quits. Not a strenuous hike by any means, but enough to remember what sun felt like.

Selfie fail! But it makes me laugh. And look, bare ground!
I was now ready to go back to this.

What's it like where you live? Are you one of those people happily posting that it is seventy degrees? Honestly I would be scared if it was 70 here. It'll be snowy for another month.

18 comments:

  1. We had our March "day of spring" on Saturday in the Upper Peninsula...70 in some places. Now today under a Weather Advisory for rain, snow, wind, whatever. Yep, this is winspring. Liked your hike.

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  2. Actually I prefer the last photo! :) And one of my friends takes selfies like you do - on purpose!

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    1. I went skiing yesterday and there was so much snow that I was able to successfully ski down the Hill of Death. So there is that victory.

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  3. We're having the exact same weather here (Hailey). Yes, I took off my studded snow tires last week. Ha! Carol

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    1. You wanted snow until June! Maybe you will have it.

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  4. We just got a dump in the mountains here ... excited to head there this weekend and soak up the last of winter!

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    1. Nice! Can't wait to read about it.

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  5. It's autumn here. Not that you would know. 35C / 95F is the forecast for Saturday. I would love to be out and about in your snowy white stuff.

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    1. That's hot! And, hard to imagine right now.

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  6. I read an article about this winter in Alaska (where I currently am) and it's scary alright. I've been here since the end of January and seen mostly rain. Granted I am in a milder area in SouthCentral Alaska, but there hasn't been enough of a freeze in the past 2 winters to execute some of the cutting that is planned each year for moose forage enhancement. The ground needs to be frozen to support the heavy equipment.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/15/record-breaking-temperatures-have-robbed-the-arctic-of-its-winter?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H&utm_term=162046&subid=1402499&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

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    1. I was in a meeting today and someone said, "I don't believe in climate change." Sigh...

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  7. I was going to make a comment on whom that person would likely vote for, but I shall refrain.

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  8. We don't have discernible seasons here, but after a good soaking, it's actually been sunny and warm here.

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    1. It was like that in SE Alaska...I guess they used to have real winters, but not when I lived there. Just rain and sun.

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  9. Hey Mary, went out to my remote cabin on Friday, lots of snow but, it was Sunny and +50 degrees, a beautiful day. Saturday, yesterday, it snowed like he'll and we now have about 8in. Now rain is in the forecast. That's Alaska.

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    1. Interesting mix! But I know you like the snow the best! Looking for another post from you about your remote cabin!

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    2. I have 2 posts about my cabin on my blog.

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