The Simplicity of Frozen Water

The clear, sunny days just keep coming.   The snow is holding up on the trails.  What a glorious week for the Yellowstone Ski Festival.

Such an amazingly simple formula — water frozen into snowflakes, icicles, frost.  Just a few degrees transforms water into a wonderland for winter sport.

Rendezvous Trails, West Yellowstone

The sun has been casting its dappled light across the ski trails, with the radiant sparkling crystals hanging in the treetops. Snow continues to cling stubbornly to the tree branches, struggling against the sun’s attempts to strip the branches clean.

Icicle

Come February, when the novelty of winter has worn off, I will need to return to these words, and remind myself that every day holds a gift of beauty, if you take the time to look for it.

Ciao! ~ Kat

What a View From Deja View!

Not sure the days could get any prettier here.  Good snow, warm temps, clear blue sky — life is good.

Yesterday, I took advantage of the midday hours, when the faster skiers and training groups head in for lunch and break before their afternoon ski session.  The seasoned skiers were coming back in from their morning sessions raving about the incredibly clear views.  I just had to see one of them for myself.  After a delightful ski with a couple of my favorite women, whose sons and daughters also are on the trip for the week of training and Yellowstone Ski Festival events, the tease of the partial mountain view convinced me to branch off and slowly tackle the Deja View trail.

Rendezvous Trails biathlon range

The temperatures have been warm, but the snow still clung to the trees, like a classic postcard scene.  The empty trail beckoned.

Start of Deja View trail, Rendezvous Trails

Blue and white complemented each other with their brilliant extremes.

Deja View trail, Rendezvous Trails

The silence was deafening — pausing on the trail, I could hear only the occasional drop of snow from a branch high above, no wind in the trees, no birds, just me and the trail.  It was wonderful.

Start of Deja View trail, Rendezvous Trails

Did I mention that I am not a hard-core skier?  I am content to shuffle through the woods, taking photos, pausing to take in the scenery and enjoy the solitude, or revel in the camaraderie of good friends on the trails together, while laughing and chatting enough that we cannot afford to get winded.

So, as I skied along Deja View, not that it wasn’t pretty, but figuring I already had skied at least half of the 7.6 km trail, I admit to saying out loud, “Where the hell is the view?”  Perhaps Mother Nature would answer?

Deja View trail, Rendezvous Trails

I almost took a cutoff back down to the trailhead, after climbing and descending a couple of hills that were relatively challenging for this novice.  But, the effort was more than worth the reward.

What a view!

View from near the end of Deja View trail

I enjoyed a few moments of solitude, taking a mental picture before pulling out the camera.  And then a couple of friendly college-aged women came along, and we traded favors, taking each others’ pictures to help preserve the moment.

View from near the end of Deja View trail.

Let me say it again.  Life is good.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Pictures from a Moving Bus

I am too tired to form an intelligent sentence right now.  If not for NaBloPoMo, perhaps I would wait until tomorrow to craft a more extensive narrative.  For now, 22+ hours on a coach bus, traveling through the night and day, with stops only to change drivers, have a quick breakfast, and make a grocery run, has left me depleted of creative thoughts.

So starts the Thanksgiving holiday week, with half of my family in West Yellowstone, and the other half holding down the fort at home.  Nordic skiers from all over the country converge on West Yellowstone for the Yellowstone Ski Festival.  For many, it is the first time on snow for the season — and hopefully not the last for weeks to come!  But, before I take you to the ski trails (and before I crash for the night), let me share with you a few of the scenes from the moving bus.

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The landscape grows increasingly mountainous in its features as you head west from Billings, Montana and then south through the Gallatin National Forest.

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Rushing mountain streams take on a blue-green mineral hue, fighting against the encroaching ice along their edges.

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Craggy peaks rise above the snow-tipped trees, creating a muted stage for the brilliant blue sky.

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No matter how tired the buses’ occupants may be, the magic of the mountains is at work, with hushed comments of admiration at varying points along the way — from the first glimpses of snow-covered peaks in the distance, to the ice-tinged rivers and streams, to the isolated peak of Lone Mountain dominating the Big Sky terrain.

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The incomplete housework, paper-piled office, and other cares of life drift away for a time, as I sit back and soak in the view from the moving bus.  My oldest son is on his last high school ski team trip to this beautiful section of Montana, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to tag along as one of the adults with the group.

Sleep is calling and I hope to share more of this stunning scenery with you, from both on and off the trails, in the days to come.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Trinity Church ~ A Back Bay Treasure

While my son was visiting colleges in the Boston area, I took some time to explore the Back Bay area.  Wonderful shops, dining, and history; a mix of old and new.

Trinity Church, Back Bay of Boston

Trinity Church is one of the old treasures of the Back Bay. On a quiet weekday afternoon, I took a self-guided tour of this sacred space, and enjoyed some quiet reflection time, alone in the sanctuary.

If you are in the Boston area, take an hour or so, and savor the beauty of Trinity Church.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Wordless Wednesday (a/k/a Grateful for a NaBloPoMo Breather)

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Ciao! ~ Kat