Today’s photo snapped somewhat in haste…New snow and a holiday weekend have brought the recreationists to these mountains. The snow ranger crew is scrambling around, driving from Sno-Park to Sno-Park to check the scene. Lots of talking, explaining, listening, trying to watch out for the good of the woods. And the good of people, since the avalanche forecast was for considerable danger today. I never want to deal with an avalanche emergency or dig a body out of the snow. We train for it, and I’ll go if called. But I dread the prospect.
The snow to the west was wet and heavy. The word that comes to mind is “glop”. Showers of what I call chunky rain fell. Not rain, not snow, but some peculiar Cascade amalgam. At Salmon la Sac, the parking area was filled with tire-churned slush that threatened to spill over into my boots as I waded through.
Then we went east, further into the rain shadow. The sky brightened, and when we stepped out of the truck the air was cooler and drier. And the snow…the snow was a firmer texture. Consolidated, as if powder snow had been blown into place without a lot of air to fluff it up. Very different.
I wanted to look around, to see what was out there today besides people and vehicles. What I saw made me want to grab some snowshoes and run away from the road into the trees. I could find a quiet place to watch the afternoon light change on the trees. Maybe there would be ravens. It would feel good to fall into the rhythm of snowshoeing.
Instead I gazed at these Douglas-fir tree trunks for the space of five breaths. And turned back to the truck to go to the next place.