This keeps happening...I can be anywhere, doing anything, and suddenly a snapshot, a moment of being on the trail pops into my head. There doesn't seem to be any common instigator of it happening - it just happens. Here's one that popped up a couple of days ago, while walking home from the park: I am resting under a large tree, probably an Engelmann spruce, amongst a forest of lots of trees, after scooting rather quickly through an open area. It was an on again/off again rainy afternoon, and I was dealing with thunderstorms and the threat of lightning since late morning. I came to the edge of a forested area - I believe I was in Section 27 - and was concerned about moving out into a more open area with several smaller trees but also lots of exposure. There was a storm that seemed to be staying ahead of me, so I figured I was OK and set out. Around halfway across (it was about a half mile across), it began to rain hard and the storm's energy (and lightning) seemed way too close. So I moved as quickly as I could and made it safely into the next forested area. The rain was coming down, I had been hiking since around 6am and it was around 3:30pm, so I decided to find a protected spot to wait out the storm. I found a few large trees, took off my pack and leaned it against one of them, and sat down leaning against the pack. My poncho covered both me and the pack, so I was warm and dry, and so was my gear. I pulled out a snack - a Kind bar with lots of nuts - and sat there, resting, enjoying the snack (really enjoying it, as I recall, because I was hungry), and singing I Will by Paul McCartney while the rain continued. The rain did finally slow down and so I was soon back on the trail, looking to get a few more miles in before finding a decent place to camp (the rest of that day had several more "moments" that I'll write about one day). That was a pleasant break in a long, soggy day on the trail!
The warm and gentle days that we've been enjoying this October have today been replaced by a generous blast of snow and cold. I am watching the snow come down steadily outside my window as I pause from typing these words. A few minutes ago, I stepped outside to capture a few scenes around the Horseshoe Lodge -- here's a couple of them. This is the first of hopefully many snows of the 2011/2012 snow season. And I'll be out there measuring. This morning at 8am, I measured 0.17" of moisture. Much of that fell overnight in the form of light rain, but it became snow towards dawn -- 1.7" of snow was on the ground then, and a few more have fallen since.