Adventure: Sixty Degree Swap

Thanksgiving was a perverse eating mission.(This post is old but I like it.) It always is. Rarely do I finish our family meal without removing my pants. We are, after all, family. Who cares if Uncle Danno is pantless? Nobody. Just keep eating. Like a bear I find myself carbo stacking to get myself through the cold days ahead. I lumber around the house gorging myself on berries and the flesh of lesser animals. I put gravy on everything. I would have put it in my coffee if I hadn’t exhausted our gravy reserves. Pie? Yep. What kind? All of them. Piece after piece. A quick lap around the yard to move the blood from my stomach to my limbs then back inside to consume more. It’s disgusting and so am I.

Looking south toward the Sandias. Roughly 9200 feet of elevation.

Yesterday I woke up to eighty-two-degrees of swampy muck, but seven hundred miles later I was in twenty-two-degrees of crisp alpine whiteness. It is not often that we find ourselves in this type of situation but it does happen. I’ve noticed something about my aging body. I have to get right back at it when I’ve been off the exercise for even a few days. Otherwise, a downward trend begins. Just like bookmaking, there is ALWAYS a reason NOT to do something. Like hike in cold weather, up a mountain.

Within three minutes of starting my hike, I found myself an ice sheet wondering if I should attach my spikes. Ten seconds later I was flat on my back staring at the sky wondering if my limbs were still attached. I got very lucky. My backpack was the real hero, keeping my melon from hitting the ground. Spikes on I made my way up the mountain. With each bend came more snow. A lone hiker had broken trail for me but I still found myself moving slowly and sinking in the six to eight inches of powder.

The mountain looks and feels new in conditions like this. The cold makes us move inward, in both mind and body. Fingers and toes numbing in minutes but standing and looking out over a snow-covered landscape is one of the great pleasures in life. Something has changed in me, and I knew it as soon as I began the run down the mountain. I’m not the same me I was a few months ago. I’ve changed. I’m here now and this place is seeping into my being. The changes of seasons echoed in the changes in me.

I don’t know what the future holds but I’m waiting patiently for what I can’t fully control.

12 Comments on “Adventure: Sixty Degree Swap”

  1. I love the snow… I wish it would snow where I live. Although a quick 2 hour drive north and I will be knee deep. I’m looking forward to my son being a few years older and we can go hiking, camping and photographing the great outdoors together!

    1. Kurt,
      It’s been odd how quickly I’ve adapted to winter. I think my body’s memory of a cold childhood was still in there and it just popped back out.

  2. Snowshoes are a blast, Dan. There’s almost nowhere you can’t go.
    I’ve done a lot of winter trips up in Idaho and Washington State. Great workout.

    1. Jim,
      I have a pair. And I agree. I’d like to try split boarding at some point too. Or cross country.

  3. I don’t know much about snow, because where I live rarely snows, but I know about food and I loved how you describe family dinners. 😛

    1. George,
      My father used to get so mad at my brother and I because we became complete and total slobs during holiday. Gluttonous, gross people and we were proud of it.

  4. Dan, what you do is all of value. We just don’t like the same movies sometimes. I do not think I will watch Step Brothers a hundred times, though I have watched Strange Brew three times in my life.

  5. yes and how can you not like “My brother and I have never been apart.” I admit that that movie is a real escape and dumb dumb dumb but all of life can’t be not dumb. So dumb and dumber is also a dumb movie but worth watching. maybe i will actually come to like step brothers….

    1. Janet,
      I know all kinds of serious, intelligent people who love Dumb and Dumber. I know plenty of others who feel they can’t admit they like it. And I know others still who can’t laugh at themselves and don’t really like any comedic attempt. Me, I take it for what it is. I think Jim Carey is unique, I think he’s funny and I’d take a chance on anything he does. Not always good but always worth the risk.

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