Winter Patience

Unlike most of the north east, we in the south rarely see much snow, if any at all each winter.  I grew up in northern Massachusetts, so I am no stranger to snow, ice, and cold.  Not that I can say I am envious of the multiple feet of snow my family up north is dealing with currently…so sorry guys!

Instead, last week I heard snow was in the forecast for this week, and got excited!  I was really hoping for some pretty white powdery stuff to coat the forest landscape.  This morning I was greeted with maybe 1/4 of an inch of white stuff, covered in slick frozen ice.  I laced up my shoes and hopped out the door..slipping and sliding down our driveway, patience Rachel!  Faster isn’t always better.

Instead of my usual 1o minute run to the trailhead, it took me a bit more than 15 slippery minutes to arrive at the chosen meet up place.  A few brave (or stupid) souls drove from home, while the rest of us ran from our homes-up slippery streets, through snowy woods…we showed up one by one.

The group was smaller than usual today, many opting to sleep in, or living too far away to get to the trails by foot.  We headed out on a different route, knowing it would take us longer up and down the trails to the “forbidden” trail.  The bridge has long since washed away, so we had to find a way across.  No one wanted to cross the narrow pipe covered in ice, or wade knee deep in the cold water, so we wandered parallel to the creek looking for a narrow spot.  Patience, we will find a way across.  Ultimately we gave up and went back to the pipe crossing.  Only Remus crossed it, the rest of us jumped hoping for solid footing to greet us on the opposite side.

Running in snow is hard work, it was like a fine sand encrusted over with ice.  Some spots were just slick, while others were crunchy, giving way to unstable footing below.   We all worked hard to keep up the pace, steam rising from our breath in the cold air.

Eventually the trail winds back to the creek as it cambers towards the cold water below.  Several times I stopped to walk, or punch my heels through the ice crust.  It was slow going, but still, you can’t beat the beauty of untouched snow in the woods.  We stopped to take a photo by a small waterfall, and admire the winter snowscape.

We wound back around to where we had all first met.  Looking at my watch, I tried to remember to be patient with my time and distance.  After all, sometimes you need a little reminder to slow down and enjoy the trip…not the destination.

A wintery run in NC. Photo credit; Kerndog.

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