Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just One of Those Days



After a very dry January we have gotten some snow. The skiers are, of course, thrilled. And with fire season looming so are many of the locals. But we have all rather forgotten how to cope it would seem. I would have preferred to not cope. Just stay in my snug little house and feed the wood stove and gaze out upon the white beyond the studio windows.

But as fate would have it this was the one day of the new year I could not. I had promised to sit the gallery in Angel Fire and based on my fixed location for a set of hours had urged various people to stop by and chat or conduct business of one matter or another. I was thrilled that my vehicle which had gone through a moisture issue at the beginning of the year was behaving itself. It started like a pussy cat and we made it up the unplowed rural road and out to the main drag as it were. The state is responsible for Hwy 434 and it was immediately obvious they had become complacent with saving the road maintenance budget.

The day previous had been warm ergo so was the asphalt under the newly fallen snow and a layer of ice had developed. Fortunately it was sparsely traveled though nobody was in agreement about speed. When you are going up hill too slow can be an issue. One car wanted to drive at about 10 mph. And in white out conditions passing is not an option.

The key I was to pick up at the visitor's center was not there. So to be able to open the gallery I had to get off the beaten (translate that to plowed) path and have a cup of coffee and a chat before continuing with errands. After wading through 6 inches of snow to and from my vehicle a few times I became aware of why I don't wear wide bottom jeans in the winter. And why the hiking boots (which have excellent traction on ice) were not the best choice in wet snow. By the time I opened the gallery I was wet and cold from the knees down. Denim does wick moisture.

And by the time I got home several hours later I was quite chilled. The house, of course, was cold as I had not been home to monitor the fire. Guess it is time to get back to winter thinking. I do, after all, have all the appropriate winter gear beginning with great snow boots. 

I suppose it is nice, from time to time, to experience our area as the southern tourists do: ill prepared. As I explained to one ski student during spring break once - the day may be quite warm but the snow is below freezing. She still insisted on not wearing her gloves as it covered up her expensive false nail manicure. The one she ruined by attempting to stop her slide when she fell.

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