After a few days of sideways blowing snow and minimal visibility, waking up to bluebird skies highlighting a fresh blanket of snow creates a sense of quiet. The first real snow of the year seems to create pause in a hushed silence as the storm subsides and the landscape is transformed. And I breathe in the 8 degrees F while feeling the -15 F wind chill across my face. Stepping back inside, I lay my skis out and ready them for tuning with fresh wax. This is it, winter has arrived!
Awkwardly, I step into my skate skis and nearly face plant as I trip over my poles. The first skate ski of the year is rarely graceful. As I find a cadence, running and biking muscles thank me for the reprieve while skate skiing legs scream out with the sudden exertion. The white trunks of the aspen compliment the glowing snow scape, and the conifers buffer the wind chill penetrating my gloves. I warm as the screaming barfies subside from my hands, and a smile creeps across my face. It’s winter at last.