The first time I went snowshoeing was with Bubba on our second wedding anniversary. We were staying at this wonderful place in the mountains above Leavenworth and it was the end of February. We had been driven up to the lodge in something called a snowcat. It was really like this enormous tractor with wheels taller than me and it was the only thing that could navigate the three miles of deep snow to get us up there. Once there, we were trapped until this yellow beast could come retrieve us three days later. The hill was terrifically steep, but I don’t remember being scared.
The feeling I remember most was awe. The entire world was white, save for the bits of evergreen branches poking through here and there. But it wasn’t stark or boring. The textures of powdery snow on the ground and deep crevices made by the snowcat were in such perfect contrast. As we headed up the mountain it was impossible to discern where the sky ended and the mountain began because of the thick cornflake-sized snow falling. The lodge was perfectly settled on a bit of flat ridge halfway up the hill and a huge deck extended the plateau out in front of it. The roof was steeply pitched and it seemed impossible that a foot of snow could be clinging to it, and the icicles dangling down were inches thick. Ski after ski leaned up against the side of the building and steam rose from the hot tub that overlooked a sledding hill 150 feet long. Three days would not be long enough.
As Bubba helped me down into the snow a German Shepherd sporting his winter coat sprinted around the side of the lodge toward us, barking his welcome. We came to be quite fond of Oggie over the next three days and he accompanied us on all our snowshoeing expeditions.
The above is from a writing exercise I was doing this afternoon from a terrific book I'm reading. I am really fond of this memory, but I don't think of it often. I am thankful for the writing exercise because it enabled me to bring it back in a way that let me sit with it for a while and recreate some of the wonderful feelings I had then. Hope you like it, too!