HEADER PHOTO DESCRIPTION:

HEADER PHOTO DESCRIPTION: High Country near Lovely Ouray.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tracking Bejeweled Mounds Of Powder Snow


Dawn brakes crisp as the thermometer hovers just above zero degrees. Half asleep, coffee in hand, I want to feel for myself. But the sliding glass door to the deck resists my tug...frozen tight in the closed position. 


It takes two hands and both legs to wrench it open enough for me to slip through. Suddenly I hit with an Aqua Velva slap-to-the-face...shocked awake by a sudden, 70 degree uppercut to the chops.

The plan for the day is to head up Red Mountain and snowshoe. Hmmm. If it's Zero in Lovely Ouray, I wonder what it will be at 11,000 feet. 
Please God, don't let the wind blow today. 

I question whether or not I can get away with wearing shorts...


A CDOT snowplow lumbers through town, a dozen or so blue strobes pierce dawn's reluctant beginning. The plow's heavy steel blade shatters morning calm like fingers on a blackboard, grating up a racket as it shaves skims of ice from pavement frozen hard as granite.

Having enough cold fresh air to raise goosebumps on top of goosebumps, I desert the deck for the warmth of a hearth-fire and glowing laptop screen. The Weather-Guessers forecast nary-a-cloud skies, light breezes, and freaking COLD

Kelli wanders into the living room, yawning and wiping sleep from eyes.

Today's gonna be tough on ears, fingers and toes, I say. Dress appropriately. 


Just to play it safe, I decide a compromise with Old Man Winter is in order...pull on a pair of blue-knit long-johns under my shorts. 

It turns out I overdressed. Amazing the sweat one can work up while breaking an uphill trail. Fortunately, Caleb also loves to break trail. 

Approaching timberline we trade chilly shade for full sun. Light ricochets off bejeweled mounds of fresh powder, warming bodies, minds and souls...fingers, ears and toes. 

Peace out from
Mark, Bobbie, Caleb, and Kelli.
PS: Today we head back up ole Red for more snowshoeing. 
    





















13 comments:

  1. That was just the figurative warm up for today’s epic adventure! To the repeater!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh...3 hours of uphill struggle followed by 3 hours of toe-jam down.
      Lots of Shot Blocks today...
      mark

      Delete
  2. Your recent photo essays have been sublime. Someday I will visit the San Juans in the winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jill,
      But you might not like it here...not enough wind :)
      mark

      Delete
  3. Fantastic Photos!! I Forgot Just How Beautiful Red Mt Is And This Quickly Reminded Me Of How Mastic Those San Juans Really Are. Thanx So Much For Sharing All These Photos. Enjoy Another Day Out And Hope You Don't Over Heat With The Abundant Amount Of Sunshine In The Forecast.

    Stay Strong,
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Padre...I see we are practically "neighbors." :)
      mark

      Delete
  4. Such a wonderful post of gorgeous photos of family and beautiful mountains and snow, and along with this music on my headphones, it was devine . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6VMvfEvzn0&t=7019s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smooth Jazz would go nicely with those photos. Music does wonders for words to. Did you also have a whiskey to sip? :)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. I love it too...and the truth is that my son Caleb took that photo. Chip of the ole block :)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for making our holiday complete, without the 12 hr flight to Zurich :)

    D & A

    ReplyDelete
  7. Where did you park for this? I'm visiting Ouray and looking for great places to snowshoe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the road shoulder pointing north, a couple hundred yards beyond the Idarodo Mine and right after the sweeping 180 degree turn. if the snow hasn't been plowed from the road shoulder then you might have to walk from the mine's parking lot which is usually plowed. snow shoe to the left of the metal gate and follow the road cut through the trees...or other tracks of skiers/snowshoers...but stay on the main road till you get up to the ruins of another old mine at the base of the mountains pictured in the photos.

      Delete

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