Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An ode to winter

It's spring, and the snow is leaving the foothills. Soon, it will be gone from the mountains. As a fond farewell to a memorable winter, I offer up this excerpt from one of naturalist and Rocky Mountain National Park advocate Enos Mills' essays called "In a Mountain Blizzard". In this essay, Mills, who frequently sought out the barren summits of peaks along the Continental Divide, tells about a battle he and his dog Scotch waged to survive a blizzard:
"At last I realized that I must stop and spend the night in a snow-drift. Quickly kicking and trampling a trench in a loose drift, I placed my elk-skin sleeping-bag therein, thrust Scotch into the bag, and then squeezed into it myself. I was almost congealed with cold. My first thought after warming up was to wonder why I had not earlier remembered the bag. Two in a bag would guarantee warmth, and with warmth a snow-drift on the crest of the continent would not be a bad place in which to lodge for the night."

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