Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bald Hill Snow Adventure

It probably wasn't the smartest or safest thing to do, but we survived and we had fun. Last night, two of my friends and I explored Bald Hill west of Corvallis. The snow made the evening's adventure something new and different. Though it was cold, as long as we were moving we stayed fairly warm. On the back side of the hill out of the wind, I was almost too warm with my hat, winter coat, and thermal pants. We had a couple lights with us, and while they were small, they worked nicely. The trail had snow on it most of the way, so the path wasn't hard to follow in the dark. The top of the hill had little or no snow since it'd been exposed to the sun all day.

How bright the stars shine on cold winter nights, I'd forgotten. We could turn off our lights at times and follow the snowy trail with little effort. It was easier, even, to see the landscape and trees without our lights on. The snow reflected the stars, sparkling in every color. The snow crunched under our feet, squeaking and humming to the different footfalls, compressed into the gravel below. Every bend in my feet caused the snow to vibrate as it compressed--the whole trek was like a foot massage after a long week at work.

And then the air, the stillness... as the forest slept, we marched up and down, single-file at times, bunched at others. I felt like an invader, like I was destroying the land by being in such calm. But when we walked along the starlit path across the back of the hill, snow all around, no sounds but our own, I felt comforted too.

I couldn't take a picture of the path. It wouldn't have been right.

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