They've been tapping their feet in impatience at me, "Let's go!"
Nature has yet taunted us with a significant snowfall in the autumn. The first snowstorm of the Tahoe area happened in October again. Instead of reading this as an indication of perhaps a great winter season, I'd defer the weather predictions to the meteorologists. If we base it on last year's snow results, we know, "in like a lion" is not really a promise of anything.
But what is good about snow in autumn, other than the obvious water supply argument, is that it is a beautiful time to be outside. The ground is blanketed in snow (and in the case of Mount Rose Meadows, at least six inches of fresh powder) and coats the woods in whimsy. It's not quite freezing yet so that means, it's the perfect and rare chance for a hike in the snow.
A Dutch boyfriend with an adventurous spirit, a Garmin EDGE 800, water, a Toblerone, loads of sunshine, crisp mountain air (and proper technical gear for me this time around) and we are rockin'.
Except for the occasional chirping of birds who sounded as happy as we were to be alive at that moment and the muffled crunch of snow under our feet, the meadows were so quiet - not at all in an unnerving way, but in a solitary, almost sacred way. We occasionally passed a cross country skier or a couple on their way back from their own hike, and if it were not for some dog and ski tracks, one would think the rest of civilization had vanished and left all this wild, white beauty to ourselves.
I watched the interplay of light and shadow all around me as the late morning sun illuminated dry pine needles on the ground you otherwise would not take notice of. And I think how light is part of shadow in as much as shadow is part of light. There is no summer without winter, no heat if we don't know what cold is.
I am unaware of exactly how long we had been hiking. When asked if we should climb this steep hill, I did not hesitate. Little did we both know, the pay off would be magnificence like this:
It is often said that in one's last few moments of life, our life flashes before us. I am certain - CERTAIN - that when my time is up, this day will flash before me, and right here and now, as I write this, I am happy that I put on those snow shoes and went out in the woods that cold October morning.