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Author Topic: Feb 21, 2013 Front Range, Colorado  (Read 1007 times)
MW88888888
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Feb 21, 2013 Front Range, Colorado
« on: 03/01/13, 10:29 PM »

Day 25
Continental Divide, Colorado
2.21.2013

***

The first time I ever hiked up a hill to ski down was about 1978 I think.  I was 8.

My brother and I had "borrowed" my sister's skis and we took turns skiing down the next-door neighbor's cow pasture in our winter boots.  Once down, hefting skis over shoulder, we'd hike back up. 

For hours.  Days. 

It wasn't easy, and when we finally did make it all the way down in the untracked snow still standing up - man - that was truly the first time I felt that sensation that's been making me smile all these years.

That was in Vermont, on an island, at the end of a 4 mile dirt road.

We had nothing better to do all day, and it sure was a blast!

***

Not much has changed I guess. 

***

Strolling up the uptrack in the dark, the only light the circle of white illuminated by flashlight in my hand and the quarter moon high overhead.  I moved quickly as the usual blast of westerly wind came crashing around me, making the sprint from the car its usual unpleasant, eyes clenched, hood drawn affairs.

Such suffering.  For what?

Once I'm in the trees the wind dies to an overhead meanace, as usual, the backdrop of sound on the divide in winter.  I cruise the lower slopes and find there has been light traffic since the weekend and the cut off to my favorite trail untrammeled. 

Oh good!

Up the edge of the trail, saving the goods in the center, I make my way, enjoying the views of my weekend exploits in the shadowy flashlight's beam, noting that the turns are covered in 5, maybe 6 inches of new snow. 

I make the climb in little under 45 minutes.

The night is cold, and the stars are out, which enthralls me, I'm disbelieving my good fortune.  Down on the plains it's still socked in, and lingering storm slow to leave.  At times I do not need the flashlight, but for the moon shadows which make skiing a challenge in the flat light of darkness. 

I enjoy the evening sky for a bit.

Then I fix my clear glasses, slide down through the entrance trees, a smile broadening on my face.

I barely think as I ski, letting the rolling terrain dictate my turns.

Very Bruce-like, like being on Mt Mansfield again.

My smile breaks out into a grin, and I fly into the turns... 
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