These are my day dreams in the winter

 

There are some days, especially those in the winter, that when I sit down at my desk and my mind doesn't go straight to the work to be done for the day. I walk into the kitchenette to get some coffee and I look outside, out into the cold damp dark morning. I watch as the working people rush into the coffee shop across the street and the computer monitors light-up in the office windows across the way. It is in these moments that my mind drifts far away from the hustle and the bustle of the city, my mind drifts off towards a snowy mountain pass somewhere. A road with tall, majestic fir trees lining the way; branches laden with snow and slumping towards the ground. Past the road, there is a deep dark snowy woods. A woods that is slowly filling with a soft morning light; going from a muddled navy to a light hazy lavender. There in the woods is untouched powder. It softy blankets the base of the trees, just waiting... waiting for someone to track through it. White, perfect, crisp, silent, still...

These are my day dreams in the winter.

I am not one to dream for Caribbean Cruise vacations filled with snorkeling and sandy beaches. My drinks do not come in coconuts with little umbrellas. My screen saver is not palm trees and crystal blue water. It is the snow, it is the trees, it is the mountains, and it is the cold. And these things I would gladly pass up any tropical vacation for. These are my day dreams, not only in the winter... but in the summer too.

Over the past few weeks a few storms have rolled into the mountains and dumped a fair amount of snow on the slopes of Mt. Hood. This has provided an ample base to begin the snowboarding/ski season and so this past weekend, I partook for the first time this winter. I've been keeping myself busy racing bikes all spring, summer, and fall long... but each time I put on my racing spandex and pull out my bike, I am secretly wishing for the time when I can put it away for a while. I am waiting till it gets cold, till it gets wet, and the seasons change. I've had my snowboarding bag, filled with my base layers, my wool socks, my snowboarding pants and my red parka, packed for the past three months, just waiting. I got my board waxed and edged last month.... just waiting.

I love pretty much everything about a trip to the mountain.

I love meeting my friends in the morning; coffee, breakfast burrito, and snowboard in hand... just waiting for the adventure that the day will bestow upon us. I love the approach, the drive up to the mountain. I love seeing how far away the snow starts. I love passing the Mt. Hood Wilderness sign and seeing cars pull over on the side of the road to put their chains on. I love the trees that line the way, branches heavy with snow. Little cabins nestled in the woods, warm glows coming from inside. I love telling my friends to be quiet for Silent Rock (respect it ya'll). I love the view that comes right after we pass it. I love seeing that first glimpse of the mountain. I love getting our parking spot and then getting out into the cold air in an eager attempt to layer up as quick as you can before the chill from the air gets to you. I love that first chair ride up, hearing the snow... listening for what it sounds like under the skis and boards of those below. I love trying to spot the powder stashes off to the side. And I love love love if it's a powdery day. If the snow is soft and light. I love if I can make it to my favorite little tree sections before they get all run through.

(I heart Jack's Woods)

I love the trees. I am sure that one day they will be the end of me, but I love nothing more on the mountain than a deep steep section of trees. I love plotting my way through them. Connecting the dots, using the trees as markers, swishing left, swooping right, narrowly making it through some trees that are only wide enough for a board, ducking under a fallen tree or a low branch. I love seeing a waterfall of powder under me... the snow becomes fluid, just like me, it cascades below till I catch up with it. More than doing tree runs themselves though, I love the trees because it is here that the mountain seems the quietest. Away from the lift lines, away from the park punks, away from the hill bombing toddlers, here in the woods it is still. Here in the woods I have the greatest connection to nature. I feel a part of the world around me. I honestly wish I could have a tree-run that would last for hours, endlessly boarding down without ever having to stand in a lift line to do it all over again.

But alas... at some point an end of the day has to come and with it, a sobering ride home from the mountain. That's the part I hate the most; leaving, driving, being tired from the exposure and the exhilaration. I wish at the end of each snowboarding day there was a few pints of a nice stout or porter, some pizza, cajun tots and then I'd magically be whisked away to a hot tub, a fireplace and a warm bed... wanting nothing but waiting for the alarm to go off and then do it all over again the next day.

Unlike many, I never listen to music while riding on the mountain - but if I did... it would be this song on repeat. There is just something about it that takes me to a snowy woods... enjoy and happy daydreams yourself.

Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine
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