Snow day: Hitting the trails in the quiet of winter

On the east slopes of Turkey Mountain, overlooking the Arkansas River.

On the east slopes of Turkey Mountain, overlooking the Arkansas River.

It’s not exactly common for us here in the Southern Plains to get much snow, at least not anything worth mentioning. It’s infrequent enough that when it happens, schools close, grocery stores are raided and TV meteorologists go into full-on freak-out mode, something less than what we see during tornado season, but not by much.

Snow also sends some people outside, building snowmen, sledding or otherwise playing around in conditions that elicit a collective shrug to the people up north or in the high country. Most people, however, just stay in.

And that means my local playground empties out quite nicely. I run a lot at Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness, and when the weather is nice, I’m there with boatloads of other people. During a good snowfall, those numbers drop precipitously.

I try to make a point of going out there after a good snow, partly for the solitude, but mostly because of the beauty. Have a look at these shots and you’ll see what I mean…

It almost looks like an avenue of winter goodness. And it's soft underfoot.

It almost looks like an avenue of winter goodness. And it’s soft underfoot.

On the north end of the Ridge Trail, you get to see these boulders. They look a little different graced with some snow.

Framed just right. That's quite a scene.

Framed just right. That’s quite a scene.

Turning back south, you get a great view of the Arkansas River.

Chilly waters. But very pretty.

Chilly waters. But very pretty.

And then something you rarely see: Me in a selfie. I don’t do these very much, for obvious reasons. But at least you know I was there.

Yes, the beard ages me. But I did the pensive "not looking at the camera because I'm so rad" thing pretty well, right? Someone find me a selfie stick! GoPro superstar!

Yes, the beard ages me. But I did the pensive “not looking at the camera because I’m so rad” thing pretty well, right? Someone find me a selfie stick! GoPro superstar!

This is what I get to do in a place where I can’t ski. In any case, what I got out of the deal was a 4.4-mile run in the snow, a chance to see the woods in a whole new way and a little bit of solitude at a time when that’s been in short supply. It wasn’t the strongest run I’ve ever had (I’m not exactly in shape right now), but it was definitely worth the time and effort.

I’ve lived by the idea of embracing the elements, and what you see in those photos is a good reason why. It might be cold and wet, but it’s awesome in every way. Good things happen when you head outside.

Bob Doucette

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Snow day: Hitting the trails in the quiet of winter

  1. We, people up north (i.e. Canada), enjoy solitude and quiet times also after a snowfall. It just has to be a bit of a bigger fall to discourage the crowds. Enjoy but keep it hush, will you 🙂

  2. Pingback: Blog: ProactiveOutside – Snow day: Hitting the trails in the quiet of winter | Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s