4/11/08

And the storm rolls in


On our second day, we decided to get serious about hiking. We really, REALLY needed to whip our hamstrings back into shape. So we set off straight up Arrowhead. This is a pretty steep pitch, although it's hard to tell from the photos. The sort of pitch that will put a hurt on your calf muscles.

By the time we'd had our coffee and hit the hill, the storm they had warned of (or a slightly milder version thereof) had socked in the valley, and it was snowing hard. This was a true spring snow, and very, very wet. The huge, heavy flakes coated every twig and turned the forest into a wonderland. The only downside is that, much as you bundle up against the weather, your clothing is drenched and heavy within minutes.

Max likes to sit sometimes and just gaze at the view. It's a wonderful thing to see.

At these times, you can really see the "wild" in him.

Fortunately for me, I'd come prepared for spring snowstorms, and had rainpants and a waterproof shell. Only trouble? Hiking vertical slopes makes you hot but quick - much too hot, in fact, to keep my shell on. It was between suffocation and a soaking wet down sweater. I went for soaking wet. There was no wind, and the steep slide back down to civilization would be relatively quick. As long as we kept moving, we wouldn't get cold.


Sam doing a little happy-dance.


Once we topped out and turned around, we were really wishing we'd brought one of our toboggans with us. Really, though, the snow was much too wet and heavy for even the best spring wax. The one snowboarder we passed was having a mighty hard time keeping his speed up long enough to get to the bottom without walking. We still had another option, as we quickly realized: we could slide on our pants! Nothing like a waterproofed nylon for sliding! And we're off down the mountain....

Max has a bad habit of trying to grab at anything and anyone that's sliding downhill at any sort of speed.

He doesn't actually bite down, so it's totally harmless...nevertheless it can be alarming for total strangers. Especially kids going by on saucer sleds. Then he has to be forcibly restrained. But I don't mind....and we were too high on the mountain for kids or sleds at this point.

Only trouble with this method is that eventually a huge pile of snow accumulates in front of your butt, and you come to a screeching halt.

Mike likes to mix up his sliding techniques a little. He's crazy like that. This one he calls the "rockstar slide".

This one, well...I'm not sure what he calls it....

It's sort of a freeform tumble. I'd call it the "front-loader".

Happiness is a spring snow!

By the time we got to the bottom again, my camera lens (in spite of having been kept inside a plastic bag for the entire hike) was almost completely fogged over. That's how wet the snow was. This is some serious humidity. But I kinda like the effect in this photo. Fortunately, the camera dried out once disassembled and de-batteried.

11 comments:

Chrissie Larkin said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh....beautiful!!!! i am so happy that you guys got a few days away...ummmm and pretty friggin' jealous!!!! :) xo

Tish said...

wow! looks like you are having a wonderful time. isn't it great to get out of your daily routine and breath some new air? hope you come back relaxed and refreshed. love the photos of you running after the dog!

Tish said...

p.s....if you scroll really fast through the pics of you running...it kinda looks like a flip book!

Vivian M said...

I love the snow, and so glad you got some quality time in with the poochies! We are heading home, so looking forward to seeing the white powder soon. I have had enough of humidity and green pastures!

Yoli said...

I'd kill for snow and crisp air. As Vivian can attest, it is not easy living in this heat and high humidity. Try living here for a while, where you have to spray sun block and mosquito repellent--
CONSTANTLY.

I love your Max. He looks like a happy playful soul. You guys look very stylish in the snow.

Juliette said...

This looks like a wonderful time! I am glad you decided to take this break for you guys. I really love the snow better in the mountain than in my backyard!

Mamacita said...

Ahhhh, butt sliding....my favorite. Although I'd have to say, I'd give you a run for your money on that one....I have enough padding to really get going! Of course you'd have to help haul my big a** up that hill! I'm glad you had fun. Those storms were amazing. They just rolled in...wave after wave. I'd look out and it would be dumping. I'd look out again and it was sunny! Gotta love the spring!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Oh my... you looked so relaxed and carefree in the photos... I would love to have gone sliding down the hills on my butt - that looks like great fun... glad to hear you had a great time away... no doubt you heard about Frontier Airlines... great... the airline I am using for Vegas and Colorado... wahhhh... fingers crossed I can still fly them... take care

Heather said...

This looks like a blast!
I did a lot of butt sliding while growing up in Minnesota, but not so much here in Florida.

kris said...

Makes me wish i could come play in the "spring" snow!

lisa said...

Deep envy-but so glad you had fun! I was thinking about you with the referrals. ~lmc