Sunday morning was especially beautiful. Waking up to snow falling isn't something out of the ordinary around here. On a windy day our valley gets a fair amount of snow flurries. Some days we get a fair amount of snow but by the afternoon it seems to all but disappear. But, as any person who gets more than a centimeter of snow in an entire childhood knows, snow drifts are better viewed from inside with a cup of cocoa. Hiking was only a mild inclination last season. Wrangler mantra would say why walk anywhere you can ride. Without the option of riding farther out than the valley on the old guys, skinnies, or little Lightning, this is suddenly appealing. And chasing around snow flurries to capture on camera in below 20 degree weather made things interesting enough. I have a small picture trail to show how this Sunday morning stroll turned into a lesson in Wyoming living.
I suppose to the top of ski slope is a good mile. Before today I have only made it half way up, where we feed the horses. This morning I was feeling pretty ambitious and wanted to make it to the bench at the very top. I made it half way to the horses just fine, with lots of stopping to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.
(Wrangler follows little Lightning around, what an odd pair)
The higher I got up the more reasons I found to stop. Then the snow became over a foot deep. Golly. Suddenly, I was in some kind of mountain endurance training, stopping every few steps gasping for air. Whew, I was still committed though.
(I could see the finish line)
At this point I was up close and personal with the snow drifts. Hoping to capture this on my camera I continued up.
(Getting there? Eh...)
One hundred intense vertical yards from the new bench I fell into snow up to my thigh exhuasted and frozen. Nope, not going to happen today. As they would say in down in the Yucatán, mato mi pavo (I give up, a colloquial phrase). On my way home I did have the pleasure of meeting Dancing Bear. New to the ranch, he is an older, gentle sort of fellow the kids will love to ride.
('Leah, why are you crouched on the ground??')
(He was kind enough to give me a lift the last 50 yards back to the barn)
Oh, and by the way, although snow flurries are pretty, there is no mercy when the wind starts pelting you in the face with snow. I think I will spend the rest of the afternoon warming up inside. Where's that fluffy Maury Kitty when you need him??
Leah Bright, Wrangler