Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2019 >Daily Dispatch #50

February 19, 2019: Pow and Plow

It just isn’t possible to get it all done because it is ongoing. It, for us, refers to house chores, horse chores, and all the other things that seem to go hand-in-hand with off-the-grid living. Now, if we had a more adult mindset, this is all we’d ever do. And if this was all we’d ever do, we would never, ever have any time for recreational activities.

This is what I was thinking when I woke up this morning and looked outside. The sun was shining brightly and I estimated that the window temperature (this is the hand held to window method) was about 20°F. Pete seemed to think it was warmer. I then announced in my matter-of-fact voice, which is the voice that leaves no room for alternatives, that we were going cross-country skiing this morning. “WE?” Pete said. “We,” I replied.

I got up, went outside, and tended to the always hungry animals. Then at 9:30 a.m. I came back in and prepared to eat the breakfast Pete had prepared – fruit, yogurt, nuts, tea, homemade bread, homemade peanut butter, and our honey were on the table. The tea was steeping on the woodstove.

Pete was uncharacteristically quiet. He said he was waking up. I think he was weighing the pros and cons of going skiing. The main thing that needed doing was that he needed to plow the driveway and adjacent areas.

Alys and Ryder
Alys and Ryder

Alys and Bootyleg on Limekiln Hill, Butte, MT
Alys and Bootyleg on Lime Kiln Hill, Butte, MT

When I told him (again) we were going skiing, he did not say no. Rather, he said he had a few things to do, then after, he’d get ready to go. I went upstairs, and while he was watering the horses, I about finished my Gift of a Good Ride proposal. About finished – I had two pages left to revise.

We put on our respective gear – I was a few steps behind Pete who when I was putting on my boots was waxing the skis. I got us a lunch together and put it in my fanny pack. He put the harness and line on the dog. Finally, at 11 a.m., we left basecamp.

It was a really good ski. There was fresh powder, and for a while, the only other tracks in the snow belonged to a nearby moose. Someone else must have had the same idea that we had, for another set of tracks appeared near Grizzly Camp. The snow was heavy, so we had little glide. However, this made getting up hills quite easy.

The sun shone brightly and the sky was blue. The snow hung heavily on the spruce bows, which I repeatedly knocked off with my ski poles. The trees, birch, cottonwood, and spruce, cast long shadows on the bright snow. And for the better part of the way, we had a view of the Talkeetna Range, the peaks above tree line windless.

We didn’t meet up with any other trail users. The quietude was much appreciated by us both. The dog led most of the way, with me following. I’m now stronger and more flexible, so skiing is a lot easier than it’s been in recent years. And my focusing on externals makes this a less tiring endeavor.

We returned home, ate lunch. Pete plowed and I wrote about pow. This was our day thus far.

Next: 51. 2/20/19: The Writing Life: Losing my Journal

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles