Snow! Finally. Snow…
That was me last winter when we headed out to Lake Tahoe with my host family. We were to spend Christmas and New Year there, in a beautiful wooden house north of the lake.
Today, it’s been only one week since fall begun and in some places, there is snow already again. Not in Tahoe but more north, obviously. However, that can’t stop me from already trying to figure out how to spend as much time in snowy places as possible this year. (It’s probably not necessary to say that here, in the Bay Area, I haven’t met anyone who would even understand my obsession with cold weather, let alone share it.)
This planning brought me to last year’s hike on the snow-filled Emigrant Trail. Back then, I didn’t own one single piece of clothing that would be appropriate for winter. (Just to let you know; I still don’t.) But I’ve at least partially mastered the science of layering, and with a rainproof jacket (that’ll work for snow, too), warm hat and borrowed winter shoes (I’d chance it in tennis shoes and gaiters if I had to but if I can keep my feet dry and warm, of course I’m going to do it!), I headed out to the Emigrant Trail.
The day was absolutely beautiful, with sun shining (and, in combination with the snow, blinding me), all the colours – or, more accurately, the white of the snow and whatever colours were left besides that – were vivid and lively. The cold was biting on my nose and I could feel the crispiness of the air all the way in my lungs.
Fallen trees seemed to be sleeping peacefully under the white covers and it seemed almost outrageous to be disturbing them, to be disturbing the quiet of the winter woods with the sound of my steps altogether.
Where the path crossed the stream (or where it seemed to be crossing the stream; the farther I went, the less obvious it was as to where the path was hidden under the snow), the snow on it froze in the most interesting ways, creating tiny crystal ‘caves’.
The stream I followed finally appeared from under the ice and snow when I was on my way back to where I started and as the sun disappeared behind the trees in the afternoon, I made my way back to the warmth of the house, cold but happy.
The memory of this snowy day held onto me and makes my longing for cold weather even greater.