Rain has been falling in spits and spurts all day, wreaking havoc on our glorious snow. Temperatures are predicted to continue their relentless rise throughout the week, by Christmas snow will only be a happy memory.
But what a happy memory!
Yesterday my church held a special Christmas service which started early and ended around eleven. I went home, grabbed a bite to eat and quickly set out. I biked to a state park in the area, hoping for a quiet place to ride in the snow.
I arrived at the park to find perfection. The snow was deep enough to be challenging, but not so deep to be impossible to ride through. And as I entered the woods, I found the snow to be completely pristine-not a single human had set foot in this place since the snowfall.
There is something so special and magical about an untouched layer of snow, it almost felt wrong to spoil it with my studded tires and hiking boots. But it was so much fun!
I raced up and down the trail, sliding and slipping the entire time.
Note: My “racing” speed in snow like this is probably 3-6 mph, so you might want to take that into consideration.
At one point, a strong gust of wind shook the trees tops furiously, all the snow held captive in their branches fell gently down creating an instant snowstorm. It took my breath away.
After plowing through the snow for awhile, I decided to check out another section of the park. Here I met a gentleman as he was packing up his skis and heading home.
We struck up a conversation: my bike tends to make people ask questions. We went on to talk about skiing and he told me that his son used to be his skiing buddy, but three years ago he drowned while out fishing.
“I learned soon enough that I had to keep on living.” He said to me.
How bittersweet it must be for this man every time he goes out skiing. Remembering all the adventures, good and bad, that he shared with his son over the years…
We wished each other a, “Merry Christmas” and I continued down the path. The snow was deeper here and I had trouble finding enough momentum to get started. A snowshoer saw me and took and double-take. He proceeded to stare at me like I was a triple headed unicorn for the longest time. (I can neither confirm or deny any allegations that I am, in fact, a triple headed unicorn.)
Not eager to have a curious witness watch my waffling attempts at biking, I walked down to the stream and took pictures until he was out of view. When I tried again, I got started on my first attempt. Ha!
The woods were so peaceful and beautiful and I felt so utterly blessed to be able to spend my afternoon in a snowy wonderland.
But the day was coming to an end and I had to say goodbye to the wonderful trails and head home. But riding home itself turned out to be quite fun. I had the wind at my back and a gradually downhill route. Add to this that I was riding on pavement, not deep snow, and I felt like I flew home.
Then I washed my bike, which was the filthiest I have ever seen it. I ended the day by caroling around town with my church family.
It was a good, good day.