And then there was… snow.

And then there was… snow.


snow on pole sept 27x



It happens every year. Lots of it, sooner or later. More or less, starting sometime early in fall.

This year just a little earlier than some. It’s been one of those kinda years.  If you think you can predict it, you’re wrong.  If you’re counting on it, don’t.

In this case, what I did expect, I got.  Here, snow scares people away.  Those that try to remain a little longer hole up indoors.  Or maybe they were there all the time.  They’ll all be gone soon enough.  We’re still the only nuts to remain. Slightly cracked as we three may be.

Meanwhile, the mountain makes her silent transition. This is the part I love. The slow silken slide into Winter. The voyeur without a voice, only the written word within me, hiding behind a tree or out there on a browning withering slope, exposed, watching as she returns to her soft, serene existence.  Sharing her secrets, this intimate time, with those who care and dare to step away from the safety of a dirt road, rattle of trucks and warmth of cabins. Far away.

Coming to life in the snow and ice.  Fifteen degrees in the morning (that’s minus nine and half Celsius) and she only begins her long season of deep, dark blue days of frosty breath and sparkling white nights.

Cold and snow bring the wilds back to life. Wild life.

On the surface, the dormant season begins.

For us, it just begins to stir.


gunnar on the divide


boys on the divide


We head high.

Now is our time to play.

We ride up and across the Divide.

The snow teases, leaves us wanting for more.  I see the boys on their horses and know their hearts and souls are gone, lost in deep powder and blinding sun and wind, fast and wild on the back of a snowmobile, where the white world is theirs and they are a part of it.

Nine hours in the saddle.  Wildlife sightings include eagles, hawks and coyote sitting to watch us on the ridge of the Divide, one moose, more deer and elk than I have ever counted in one day, and only one other human being, a solitary bow hunter probably a little surprised to see us riding down through the snow where no tracks lead up and in.


crossing a snowbank


bull elk


I’m not political, prefer keeping my opinions to myself, wish y’all might do the same, and in general, like politicians about as much as big business.

But today, I let lose a roar.  Why not?  After all.  I am woman…

Our government is again on the brink of a shutdown. Many of us have already shut down.  We have lost hope in a government and people who support and vote in those who think it’s funny to read children’s stories instead of taking charge and initiating change from a place of business and a house of our government.

I am not impressed.  In fact, I think it’s disgraceful.

Good riddance to this government?  If so, then all of you. Does this mean the politicians won’t be paid and their benefits will be frozen?   Or as usual, is it just those of us who vote, not those for whom we vote, who are affected?

I’m sorry for what it will do on the global level and all the jobs that will be lost because of this foolish choice.  As for me on this mountain, all we’ll see are things like this:  No more decorative fences built for the fun of it, or new hitching rails installed beside old ones left in disrepair.  Shucks.

Selfishly, I can hide out up here and ride out the wave and wait for someone who really cares enough to act to wake up.  I’m an optimist.  I still think there might be someone in Washington who will.

Otherwise, I see a nation quick to point fingers and slow to take responsibility.  It’s not just our leaders.  It’s all of us.  Wake up and look around.

What is the excuse the politicians (and perhaps, us?) play with this time?  Fear of change?

Change, damn it.

Some change is better than no change, unless you’re too afraid to let go of the past, and are too dumb to see that past is already gone.


last light coming down lost


How silly I feel to allow myself to be down when I see how easy happiness is.

Just do it.  Be it.  Now.

When I was nineteen, the rat race I was born and raised to run in New York City proved to be not that which I wanted for the rest of my life.  I found – or rather, made – a way out, and left.

In time, I built a life that I didn’t know then could exist and that if I wasn’t the one living now, I’d be wishing I was.

It starts with a dream.  And then you have to have guts.

Or not, and be happy where you are and with what you came from, because I look around and know many who actually are.

I wasn’t one of them. So for those of you who are more like me and who had to write our own rules, I recommend this little bit of a reminder.  Inspirational reading.  I read it this morning on line and printed it out and pinned it on the fridge so I read it every morning.

Twelve Things Happy People Do Differently

It starts with gratitude.

Look around.  See how much you have to be grateful for.

Maybe I have it easy.  It’s beautiful here.  Last year I invested in a good camera.  Now it’s even easier. Through the lens, any lens, we can learn to see, to look, and even, to feel.

Harder still is looking within.  And finding the beauty in there, too.


the head of lost trail creek


rio grande pyramid


I leave you today on a happy note.

For all those who have helped to make this dream come true… thank you!  Indi and Carlos are home in Hawaii!!!!


indi and carlos 2

Farewell my friends!  What a wonderful new life is beginning!


7 thoughts on “And then there was… snow.

  1. Early snow…mmmm. The Almanac says we’re in for a colder than normal winter which makes me very happy my wood pile is ample this year. My wee barometer – Duc le Chat – is eating up a storm which means he’s planning a good fur coat. Have a feeling I’ll enjoy a lot of soup this year – I can heat it up on my insert with a little ingenuity. Bad weather means power outages. I need to read up on firing up the coleman camp stove. A friend left it here and I’ve never dragged it out.

    But, Gin…I haven’t forgotten that you dropped one winter from your life last year. Hope you didn’t get soft! :D

    Loved your photos- that’s a great elk specimen! It’s been so many years since I’ve seen one, I hope I’m not mistaken.

    • SOFT!?!?!
      I imagine you knew that would get me fired up, my friend :)
      Looking forward to seeing where and what the Beloved Ones have in store for us all this winter, but I’ve a feeling it’s going to be good.
      Yes, a big bull elk, Gunnar chased him right to us and our horses, most kindly, so I could get some good shots. With camera only, as is my way!

  2. Gin, this is much what I’ve been talking about for the last couple days while giving my Haig Brown lecture. I’ll post details this week. Hang in there. We are many and we are strong.

  3. Those photos of the wide open spaces nourish memories of tips high up where the mountains stretched as far as the eye could see. The silence was tangible, and it still is years later. Only time and distance conspire against me. I remember bursting through snowdrifts, and the way that the dog used to love sliding. (He’d slide down on his back too, watching the humans for a reaction!) Yes, it was a relief when the last tourists departed, much as I enjoyed (most of) their company, and at last we had some peace and space. Nowadays work is a year-round thing. I long for that winding down at the end of a busy summer – but all life is high season and I suppose that my autumn will come only when I retire after another fifteen or so years.

    The political situation bemuses many of us abroad. (My American wife is, like you, infuriated.) I’m reminded of the twilight of the Roman Empire. Only we have the benefit of history: are the lessons not obvious? (Yes, but Britain and the United States accompany one-another at the bottom of the literacy and numeracy stakes. Who nowadays understands history? Or cares?)

Thank you for your interest in Gin's writing.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s