This past winter in Seattle has been……what’s the word I’m looking for…….oh yeah…..RAINY! No it’s not unusual for it to rain in Seattle, but our rain is really light and more of a drizzle. Nothing that keeps you from going outside. This winter we had obscene amounts of rain. Downpours that lasted for days! Flooding that we haven’t seen in well over a decade. For awhile it seemed like it would never end! On the plus side, we won’t have a water shortage this summer and our mountains are covered with deep snow!! Deep snow makes for great skiing and snowshoeing, but it also causes significant avalanche conditions which make it too dangerous to go out into the backcountry.
Recently we are clearly seeing the signs of Spring in Washington. The daffodils are starting to bloom and the tulips will be early this year. We are starting to see bluebird skies which make for great snowshoeing conditions. I’ve been to Artist Point at Mt Baker during the summer and it is pretty spectacular but I had not been there in the winter. It was unbelievable and that is a clear understatement! Mt Baker has a ski resort and miles of backcountry trails for split boarding and snowshoeing. You could spend days there.
I’m not sure why but there really was not a lot of people there. I would periodically see others on the trails but it wasn’t uncommon to look around and not see another person. I knew it was going to be a great day! The snow sparkled under the sun. There were huge sections of completely untouched mounds of snow. The kid in me just wanted to run over and jump into the snow, but the adult in me was questioning just how deep that snow would actually be! Ultimately the adult in me won the decision point.
I trekked up the first big hill and saw the next large area of tracks. Some went across the valley. Others went up another hill. More went off to the right or left. So many options! I stood at this point for several minutes just soaking in the beauty. In the distance I would see skiers or snowboarders gliding down these huge hills. There are no chairlifts to these areas so they trekked up to the top on split boards. It was quite the climb, but boy that must have been an amazing ride down in untouched snow! I just might have to try that with my snowboard sometime!
I finally made it up to the top Ridgeline. Incredible 360 views. The mountains were bright white and the sky was deep blue. Can’t tell you how many times I said “wow”. It was so pretty. I sat at the top for quite awhile. It was completely silent and I mean silent! It’s honestly one of the things I enjoy most about nature. Just the silence. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert. Nature has always been the place I recharge my batteries and ponder life. As a Virgo, I’m an analyzer. I like to think….and think…..and think. Hiking provides the perfect setting for me.
I’ve had a lot rolling through my mind lately. My mom and her health issues. She is living in an assisted living facility now and getting the care she needs. With the coronavirus outbreak I recognize she is part of a vulnerable population. For the elderly this virus can be deadly. The facility has put in place some very strict rules but nothing is perfect. There is always risk.
A person I worked with lost his wife to breast cancer. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen person take on the reality of a terminal diagnosis with such grace. She fought as hard and long as she could, then made the decision how she would spend her last days. She was so grateful for her life and the people in it. She set an incredible learning lesson for everyone about being grateful and having grace. These journeys are always personal for me as I am a survivor but I also lost my only sister to breast cancer. I saw that battle on good days and bad days until the end.
Spending time reflecting on your life and those in it is always a good idea. I am incredibly grateful for the life I live. My kids are doing well and are healthy. I’m learning the adjustment to retirement. Spending time with my mom. Spending time on the Ridgeline sitting in silence allowed me time to reflect on a couple people who entered my life at a time I wasn’t ready for them. My personal life was a disaster and I wasn’t in a space to truly be present. A matter of bad timing. It happens and at times leaves me with the “what if” wonder. I don’t regret meeting, but I do regret the timing. Sometimes you just meet people you know are just meant to be in your life forever. You’d hate bad timing to be the reason the person you are meant to be with isn’t here. What if??? Deep thinking up on that mountain!!
I always stop at North Fork Brewery and Pizzeria in Deming on my way home. It’s a little hole in the wall place that has the BEST PIZZA you will EVER eat!!! I’m not kidding!! So good! I’m a fan of beer aged in whiskey barrels so I picked up their whiskey barrel aged Baltic Porter. Sounds good! When you check out they give you your bill in a shot glass with a fortune cookie. My fortune ” Decide what you want and go for it”. Good timing!