The Morning was Bright and then it was a Party

I snowshoed through fields of glitter in the very bright morning sun.


Deliberately underexposed to show the glittering snow.

Deliberately underexposed to show the glittering snow (iPhone photo).


It’s my favorite snow condition and occurs mostly in the late winter/early spring. Sometimes the glitter is all different colors, sometimes it’s white, like yesterday. It’s best first thing in the morning, before the sun has morphed the crystal flakes into other shapes. It’s one thing to stand and look at it, and quite another to be moving through it. As far as I’m concerned, it is pure magic.

My footprints, the only ones on the trail.

My footprints, the only ones on the trail.


It didn’t appear that anyone had hiked on the trail for weeks.  Much of the fun was trying to find the trail by finding the blue diamond shaped signs attached to trees, like a treasure hunt.


Blue diamond shaped trail marker on the trunk of a tree.

Blue diamond shaped trail marker on the trunk of a tree.


Next, I headed back to town for the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days parade.  Frozen Dead Guy Days is a 3-day long festival that arose because up on the hillside, above the reservoir, Grandpa Bredo is kept frozen under 1600 pounds of dry ice.  You can read more about the history here (with a few subtle inaccuracies).

This year, the festival coincided with Mardi Gras week.



With the good weather, a large crowd gathered for the parade.

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Small Town Morning

It snowed more than 32 inches over the past 24 hours.   I step out into the sunless early morning to a muted white landscape.  It’s so quiet, even my own sounds don’t propagate far.  My snowboots don’t make a sound in the fresh powder.  The scent of woodsmoke fills the air.

My walk to the post office to pick up yesterday’s mail will take me across the two-lane state highway and the center of town.  I see that the road is already getting congested with skiers and snowboarders heading up from the cities.  None of the sidewalks are clear so I have to walk on the edge of the roadway.

Leaving the highway, I turn down First Street.  I peer into the co-op to see if it’s open yet.  The lights are off and the sign in front says “closed”, but I can see steam accumulating on the inside of the windows.  I know someone is in the back kitchen baking scones and muffins.

I continue to the other edge of town where the post office is. The air here has a different scent of woodsmoke.  It smells like fine tobacco being smoked in a pipe.   One thing I love about this town is the variety of wood that is burned in stoves and fireplaces.  Each block has a different scent.

I pickup my junk mail and deposit my Netflix DVD into the mail slot.  I contemplate taking a different route back home, but decide I want to pass the co-op again to see if it is open.  The idea of a fresh baked muffin sounds so appetizing.

I walk up First Street and peer into the co-op windows.  Yes!  The lights are on and the sign says “open”.  I ask the clerk if there are any muffins yet.  Just then a women carrying a tray of fresh baked chocolate covered raspberry scones emerges from the back, answering my question.  She puts the scones into the display case and tells me about all of the other baked goods in there.  It was a tough choice, but I settled on the banana cranberry, peach muffin, a large one.

Outside, I break off the crispy top part and begin nibbling on it as I walk up the road.  The bottom part of the muffin is steaming.

The highway has even more cars on it now.  Although the traffic is only crawling along, nobody wants to stop to let me cross.  Finally I just go for it, forcing the issue.

Looking up at the Divide as I walk west, I see the sun is shining.  It won’t be long before it’s sunny here.

Back at home, I make some Earl Grey tea and finish my muffin.  I look out the window, between the houses, and see the traffic is stopped dead on the highway.  I’m content not to be in that mess.