09 October, 2011

The Seasons Are Kind Of A Big Deal

hello snow, it's been awhile...

Living in Texas for a couple of decades has desensitized my awareness-and therefore my (mental) sequential progression-for the seasons.  In Texas, it'd be Africa hot for months then boom, one day it dumps freezing rain (and all the hayseeds crash their dualies)  and I realize Fall must be here.  Living in Colorado, near 9000 feet (2700m), when the season changes it's a sensory experience.  It gets colder, the colors on the trees change, especially our Aspens that slowly tell me a progression towards Fall's coming, and eventually it snows and I realize I didn't harvest enough firewood. 
Happened moments before I got there
normally this is a two-lane interstate
Yesterday galvanized my transition (mental, paradigm shift to prepare for winter in the high country) to Fall as I drove to Grand Junction for my daughter's elite soccer team's game.  Grand Junction's a couple a hundred miles away going over-or under-the Eisenhower Tunnel in Summit County and Vail Pass.  Yesterday also had a Winter Weather Advisory because during my travel there it was also going to be dumping 5-10 inches (12-25cm) of snow.  Took the Tundra instead of the front wheel drive Camry because you need 4 wheels powering once the snow/ice crud accumulates on I-70.
Took some pictures of people who didn't prepare as they should have driving-wise.  Normally, I-70's a two laner but as we negotiated one of the many hills, this one on the way to Frisco from Breckenridge was particularly difficult for a front-wheel drive Honda Fit that got sideways trying to grab onto the snow.  We parted like the Red Sea to get around it.  Thank you four wheel-drive.  Living at our elevation, the bare minimum's all-wheel drive but to really negotiate the record breaking or the wicked one-day dumps, you also need clearance.  A pickup truck accomplishes both; furthermore you need the bed to haul firewood.

The forecast at Grand Junction was 55°F, partly cloudy with little wind.  It was actually quite pretty, with a tad bit cold thrown in to remind us it's Fall.  Maricel's team won 2-0.  Exciting to watch but not particularly looking forward to drive back home, especially if it's snowing again on Vail Pass (which it was).
partly cloudy and 55° F in Grand Junction
Snapped this beauty with my cell phone as we were leaving Grand Junction and heading towards Grand Mesa.
not bad for a cell phone, no?
Sunday morning, I get to survey the snow Mother Nature left us to recharge our well and to make our property aesthetically pleasing for me due to yesterday's (driving) trials and tribulations and my inordinately long, daily commute that make's the trade-off of mountain living digestible.
our Aspens from our backyard
Knocked out my first race of the season doing a 'cross race on my 29er which performed downright admirably.  Finished 29th out of 75.  Not bad for really not doing a whole lot of training this year.  My next 'cross race is this Sunday, the 16th in Boulder.  Should be fun.  Hopefully it won't snow.  Renewed my amateur license and I'm ready for 2012!  So these pictures are my visual reinforcement of Fall so now I have to gear up for my Auditory welcoming of Fall...

...which is the listening to sacred, choral music (Melissa reminded me of this recently).  I used to perform music in both symphonic band and choir and used to sing Handel's Messiah back in the day.  But what really made it endearing listening to sacred choral music was when I was stationed in Germany.  My friends and fellow airmen and I did a lot of skiing in the Alps.  My friend had a real nice 5 series bimmer and when we'd drive back to base from say, France or Switzerland, he'd always pop in Handel's Messiah.  Cruising the autobahn at night looking at all the gray bleakness of the snowtopped mountains and exfoliated, silhouette of  trees made the music (especially when the brass and screeching sopranos kick in) that much more ominous and brooding (the Fall/Sacred Music association).  The auditory clue that started my Fall connection was Melissa digging a radio broadcast of some Bach sacred music.  She researched their playlist and concluded it was Bach's Saint Matthew Passion.  We reserved it at our public library and it's made its way onto my iPod and iTunes library (rest in peace Steve Jobs), where it's currently resonating in my head.

Hello again Old Man Winter.  I don't particularly like the way you malinger here until May and knockout our electricity when you unleash your super heavy, wet, spring dumpages.   For now, it's alright and skiing's a'knocking with our WinterPark passes ready to be used up for some darned sweet family entertainment.

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