The crunching of boots against cold, powdered-sugar snow. The methodical song of one foot in front of the other, rising slowly over the trees, road, smaller mountains. The bliss of the crisp air against rosy, warm cheeks and the obvious work of my legs and lungs as they climb Mt. Glory for the first time all winter. Rejuvenation is getting outside, breathing fresh air and taking in natural vistas, my church and the place where I often find my true self.
Although I miss resort turns some days, I would never give up backcountry skiing. Something about the work that it takes to reach the powder stash, the fewer people encountered along the way (although the top of Mt. Glory yesterday was a party today), the ability to bring along four-legged friends who beam at you with ear-to-ear grins, the full body workout....I adore it all and find it incredibly cathartic. It is about the moments, my mind slowing down and concentrating on the next step not the next year. That is the true beauty of most outdoor sports, the ability to thrust you into your moments, the past and future falling away.
Getting out with Jamie is so important. As much as I wish I knew the backcountry better, I do love following my capable husband as he navigates us through trees, around rock cliffs, over drainages, and down untracked powdery slopes. I feel so safe. And it is an experience that doesn't need to be filled with words, as the movement of skis through creamy snow verbalizes a sort of peace and simplicity. This is happiness.
A bluebird day. Cold but clear. Untracked turns. Olive dog's squeaks and perseverance through deep snow. Sore legs. Friendly ride hitchhiking back up to our truck. The comfort of warm tea and homemade wraps. The joy of returning home to see my parents and little Sam.