Tag Archive 'winter blues'

Feb 17 2013

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Sun and Ice

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lake iceToo tired to drive into the mountains, I went down to the lake yesterday just to get out of the house. I was surprised to find Lake Champlain iced over as far as the eye could see. One would think that recent thaws would have opened it up a bit. But the fist of winter remains clenched.

The sun was out, anyhow. That gave me hope. Lord knows I need spring to get here. I need a few days in the woods – the deeper the better – to unthaw my cold, hard heart.

I am hardened by the daily irritations of modern living: media hype, traffic, tax forms, economic woes, and all that idiocy in Washington. Doing too much literary work while holding down a job doesn’t help. Neither does the helpless feeling I get while watching loved ones suffer a broken health care system. I’m chronically tired, cranky and demoralized. Don’t know how my wife puts up with me. No doubt she would send me to the woods for a week if she could.

All the same a warm, February sun reflects brightly off the ice, reminding me that the coldest, darkest days are in the rear view mirror now. The first hints of spring can’t be that far away. Just have to hang in there a little longer. I’ll be tramping through mud and snowmelt soon enough.


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Feb 11 2012

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Icy Trail

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The lack of snow is making a lot of Vermonters grumpy these days. Even those of us who don’t ski are missing the white stuff. Vermont in the winter isn’t same without a blanket of white. Oh sure, there’s snow in the mountains and the ski areas are making their own, but here in the valley we get a dusting that melts with the next sunny day. Then the ground is half-naked again. It’s unsettling.

Snow or no, I went for a walk the other day.  I went to Aldis Hill as I usually do when I’m short on time but need a woods fix. I was shocked to find the trail a solid mass of ice and immediately regretted not bringing my Yaktraks. I slipped and slid along, often leaving the trail for better footing yet returning to it out of sheer habit. I crept along slowly. That helped.

Matika didn’t mind, of course. Any time out-of-doors is a good time for her. Then again, she wasn’t on the trail itself.

I slipped and took a hard fall at one point. No surprise there. Got up and immediately checked to see if anything was broken.  A slight abrasion on my hand, that’s all.  A few minutes later, I slid ten feet. After that I tramped through the woods back to the car. An icy trail isn’t a trail, really. It’s a river of ice reminding three-season hikers like me that winter is fundamentally inhospitable. This one is for sure. So now it’s just an impatient wait until springtime.  Fortunately, in a year like this, that can’t be far away.


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