The title of this blog is the imagined way I’d hike in the sky if everything were upside down, inverted — the sky being the ground.
This morning was one of those days where the light was a little flat (hazy/cloudy sun) on the fresh snow. It can be really flat when it’s snowing, too. Sometimes when I’m snow-shoeing in flat light I can’t really see the snow. Instead I see only all white, with no depth. I take a step into the white not knowing where my foot will stop and touch something firm. There’s something surreal about it, like I’m not walking on the ground. The inverted sky.
A lot of snow has fallen since I returned from the deserts of Utah, much more than I’ve ever seen here at this time of year. But this is what I expect with a warming climate, the heavier snows we would normally get in spring will fall mid-winter when it’s usually just cold and dry.
This morning, I endeavored to stay off any trails. When I’m walking on a trail, my mind wanders and contemplates things, often unrelated to the hike. This is good when trying to make a hefty decision about something. When I’m off-trail, I’m fully focused in the moment, path-finding, choosing where to go, especially in the forest. It can be exhilarating and gets me out of my head.
I emerged from hiking in a fairly dark forest and into one of my favorite valleys. A lone coyote yipped and howled from the side of the valley, possibly as a simple greeting to me. It surprised me a little because coyotes usually head for lower elevations in the fall (I was above 10,000 feet). I can’t imagine a coyote hunting for showshoe hares in such deep snow. There were snowshoe hare tracks all over the place.
Another cool thing were these large feather-like ice crystals growing on the branches of the trees.
They kind of reminded me of moth wings.