For the past three days I have run the same lollipop route. Whites Creek to Jones, past Galena Park, up to the ridge, down the back side, back down along Whites Creek and back to the truck.
The first day I woke up early was there by 6:30. The morning air was crisp and cold, and as I made my way up and over to Jones Creek I was ecstatic to be shluffing first tracks through fresh snow. As I got up higher the snow turned to ice and for the first time for in a while I thought I should dig out my microspikes next time. On the back side I was back to breaking trail through untracked snow until I returned to the stem of the lollipop back on Whites Creek. Day two, I woke up a bit later and the air was significantly warmer when I started out, nonetheless I brought the microspikes, only to keep them in the hip pack the whole time. The route was sloppy, muddy fun in the sun, and once on the back side I was back to following two tracks down this time: my own from the day before and a deer's who seemed to enjoy that I had broken trail in the snow. On day three, not to carry extra weight I left the microspikes in the truck. I decided to try to move fast as a storm was moving in. With the sky spitting small crispy snow flakes I had the whole trail all to myself. The uphill was slow. The tracked out muddy slush had turned to ice with the drop in the temps and I regretted my attempted minimalism. I stopped at the top of the ridge for a moment to watch the storm clouds pouring over Mt Rose. On the back side of the ridge I struggled between crusty uneven snow in the shade and windblown snow drifts across the ridges. I arrived back at the truck with bloody shins and frozen ankles.
In mid-September Jess and I moved to Reno; sight unseen. For weeks, and maybe even months, we struggled to find rhythm, hemmed in on every trail we thought might lead somewhere further. As Summer faded to Fall we tried our best to live life as we had before the move, seeking familiarity in our activities in a wholly new place. I welcomed the change of seasons, without remembering what they meant. One morning we woke to snow covered hills outside our kitchen window, and with joy, that only fresh snow brings, we rushed out to play, and for a brief fleeting moment I did not worry about figuring out our new life here. I just shloshed and slipped my way up the trail loving the beauty. "Its Winter" I thought, as if the seasons could change over night.
A few weeks later I found myself on day one of my three day lollipop routine, and I suddenly remembered something Sylvia told me before I moved to Chicago: "Watch the seasons, they have a lot to teach you if you pay attention."
Its Fall here now, slowly moving to Winter, and the transition in the hills is a bit sloppy.