In the giant picture, I am grateful to live in the United States. There are many reasons for this, but today is not the day to go into them. I’m talking more locally, so local in fact, that I’m talking about the specific location of my house in the town where I live. Why so specific? It has to do with outdoor recreation and the access I have to trails in the mountains.
It’s been a long winter here, and quite frankly, many people are completely over it. It’s March, and dammit, it’s time for spring! I’m not among those people, though. Years ago, before I embraced outdoor winter sports, I fell into that category. But once I took up skiing, my attitude began to change. It doesn’t hurt that right now the days are getting noticeably longer and it is now light outside until after 6:00pm. That’s a huge mood booster for me. But even more than that is just getting outside in the winter, even on those cold, cold days, to just enjoying the outdoors for what it is this time of year. The white snow, green conifers, and bluebird skies make for some pretty stunning eye candy in the winter.
This winter we’ve had so much snow that I have been able to ski on the trails near my house with my Stinker. I have a new pair of skis this year, the Hoks from Altai Skis. These skis are short and they have built-in skins for climbing. They are often referred to as sliding snowshoes. And they are a total hoot to play around on! The trail I’ve been skiing this year is about 4 blocks from my house. It’s not true backcountry skiing, but I’m using my own horsepower to ski up a hill, so it sort of counts. Some days, especially right after a snowstorm, I can actually put my skis on at my house and ski up the road to the trailhead. How awesome is that?!
Answer: pretty awesome
Stinker agrees. She has had such a great winter. She has played so hard in the snow, not just on the trails but also in her own yard. She loves to wallow around in the snow.
I’m incredibly grateful that I live so close to the trails. Some days we don’t see anyone else on the trail. There aren’t many places left where you can experience that so close to a populated area. I think where I live is pretty special and I’m so, so thankful that I was able to move here and that I have employment that allows me to stay here. I’m quite lucky and I know it. So I choose to enjoy where I live in all seasons. And if winter sticks around for several more weeks, I will be okay with that. Spring will come eventually and when it arrives, I will make the most of it. Gratitude for all seasons (well, maybe not the smoky fire season–but all the others!) is my motto.
Final note: Hubby has been skiing the trails near our house as well, and we can look out our living room window and see some S turns he’s made on the hill outside our house. He’s been enjoying those bragging rights.