Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Giant's Skull

Last week I decided to burn some holiday calories with a bike ride into the mountains. So I bundled up in winter gear, packed map and snacks and extra clothes, and climbed up leafy trails, crunching through frozen mud, sliding across brown ice, crisping through snow patches.

Up and up, until the views expanded and I saw the world ringed with lines of blue mountains. Uphill and downhill and uphill and downhill. A few creek crossings, much bushwhacking through fallen trees and tangles of thorny brush, heated curses at the terrain, thorns, shoe soles caked in ice, my own lack of energy.

When I came out on top after a climb so steep I had to push my bike, I was rewarded with the long views I'd glimpsed through the trees earlier, except now the sun was out. Ridges of blue mountains marching west to the horizon, into West Virginia. And then I saw a gleam of white: the most distant and highest shape was a mountain covered in snow, no larger than a fingernail peeling but bright white against the blue sky. Like the skullcap of a giant three hundred miles distant, or maybe the Rocky Mountains.

Satisfied at at least this glimpse of winter, I chipped the ice off my shoes, clipped in, and started pedaling. Downhill at last.


Babs said...

Brrrrrr. Loved the sound of crunching ice, Great descriptions. I could really use all senses.

Babs said...

Where are you? Miss your writing!