Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow fun



Patricia's comments remind me that I can still have some fun in the snow, amidst all the serious and somber business.

I am busy getting the little snow plow stuck in the snow drifts and windrows at various locations throughout the valley. Although I cannot safely range too far, I can venture out a ways. Plunging through deep snow is always a thrill -- even from the back of this mechanical camel.

Preparation for being comfortable in colder weather is as much a frame of mind as it is a set of clothing. I have been with scout kids that had a terrific time in spite of their poor dress -- just because they were so thrilled by the incredible environment that they forgot to get cold. Make no mistake. There is no substitute for proper garments, when dressing for the cold. But I have seen energy and enthusiasm make up for a lot.

Winter acclimation also helps one adapt. The sense of discomfort diminishes gradually. Greater comfort with a certain level of exposure can gradually be tolerated, until the body adapts to a relative comfort level.

It is always surprising to realize this, up close and personal, when visiting someplace like San Diego during the winter. The residents are shivering in their down jackets, while the snow people are sweating in tee shirts.

2 comments:

Jim Cobabe said...

I remember some of the serious stuff too. When I used to hike over the old railroad path above the Moffet Tunnel, snowboarders and backcountry skiers were common in the area. One afternoon, three of the skiers in the area were swept down by a snowslide into Yankee Doodle Lake. It remains a question in my mind whether they were considered drowned in the lake, frozen beneath the subzero water, smothered in the snow slide, or crushed by the tumbling chunks of ice. Suffice to say, they did not live to tell the tale.

pgk said...

Jim,

I just got back in from a walk in the snow, a good workout. I was pleased to find the deer making good use of the trails I break, even leaping over obstacles, such as ATV trail cattle guards, to land in my trailbreak on the other side. In one place, rabbits had made liberal use.

I sense these animals' hunger and desperation as they resort to using my trails to conserve energy while they're on the hunt for food. The winter wear and tear especially shows up in small birds foraging among the skeletons of wild sunflowers. They hardly move out of my way as I pass by.

I'm grateful my passage through the snow is recreational, that, provided I'm careful, I can expect to return home to warmth and an easily managed breakfast.