We skied in the growing dusk, our second of the season. The snow was a soft powder under my skis. It was perfect. I felt like I could go forever. Far out to the Zumwalt, I could see sun on the bleached hills, while we were encased in a world of thick, cold snow. Though summer is my first love, I can still fall for the spell that is winter in a northern town.
I went for a hike up the West Fork Wallowa River. The snow was deep, the river shrouded in ice.
I pushed past the only set of footprints on the trail to reach a popular summer junction. It will be a long six months before backpackers venture up here. Now we need a snowshoe brigade to pack it down for running. Or not. It's still good to slog, even though it takes twice as long.
The wolves are out and about. We spotted their tracks on a road that is the main artery between the south and north in summer. Now, snow drifts it shut.
Though Ruby was born in the desert, something in her ancestry tells her to love winter. She sleeps outside most nights. She is ecstatic over snow.
|Our backcountry skating rink|
That night, a supermoon rose over the snow-covered mountains, so large that it seemed you could touch it. We made the right decision, coming back, I thought. Even though the job situation is precarious, even though we are working ourselves into debt to build our house.
There's something special about living in a mountain town, something that can't be replicated. My favorite band wrote a song about it:
Hello, blue light of winter.