The rest time allowed me to ponder the things I saw:
-Not long after I started skiing, I found a trail that had not been groomed. I'm not now, nor will ever be, an A+ skier. It's not in my blood or in my experience. But I am related to my dad who subconsciously pushes me to do difficult, interesting and new things. Blazing a new trail in four to six inches of fresh, white snow sounded like a good time. The snow was incredible to glide through, not only because it was untouched by any other human (I have a fantasy of living back when the West was full of bison, not white people), but the silence that accompanied me the further I went touched me. After I went a ways and reached a spot I knew not to go over/through, all I could do was stand there, listening to nothing and looking at everything.
-Countless turkey, pheasant or the like tracks. I came to an open area and saw at least 11 different track paths. Upon closer inspection, I could clearly see a large bird footprint. As I continued on, the field and bordering forests were absolutely littered with these tracks. The situation made me think back to the first time I visited Smiling Hill Farm three years ago: While skiing out in the fields, I came upon a very small set of animal tracks. As I stood there, wondering who had made them (some sort of mouse/mole) and where (s)he was going (take cover!!), I became so deep in thought that I promptly fell over. Luckily, no one was around to see my grace and style that is me on cross-country skis...
-Balls and balls of snow that had rolled down a small hill after being pushed out of a parking lot. This was much off the groomed trail and enjoyed the trek through fresh snow to reach the gravity-created snowballs. I even climbed the hill sideways on the skis to woosh down it and back to the trail.
Saturday night brought an environmental film at Allagash Brewery about conservation of land, skiing, grizzlies and passionate people. This movie was accompanied by beer, chocolate chip cookies, popcorn and a particular short film called "Speed Dating." You can view it here: https://youtu.be/eiLWmEZALdI ..... I loved the story, as the struggle is real, but not nearly enough to try speed dating! The whole experience was great as events that include Allagash often are.
A snow walk happened upon my return to town. After spending 15 minutes dusting, scraping and chiseling ice and snow off my car a couple hours before, I wanted to see what else was now snow and ice-covered. Sometimes I find myself taking an incredibly long detour from wherever I've been to wherever I'm going when there's snow on the ground. The most remarkable sight were truly the ice-encased trees. Run your hands over once next time icy rain happens to cover the local world and marvel at the smoothness found outside and marvel at the resilient life living within.
Other recent winter activities have included footing my name in the snow, literally. During my Wednesday class, between teaching local kids the difference between squirrel, fox and mouse tracks and rolling down white hills, I challenged everyone to walk their names in the snow as neatly as possible, first AND last. This is quite difficult, I found. Not only does spacing matter but balance is not always there when you need it and a mistake is made. Good thing White-Out was all around!
As I write this, the snow outside the coffee shop's window is swirling and blowing lightly in opposite directions. Along the sidewalk just beyond the window, the snow drifts slowly to the right, while in the street the flurries flow decidedly to the left. If you look at it long enough, you might believe you were stuck in a beautiful snow globe.