Oh, lumber. Lumber from trees, from forests. Forests make me think of old growth. I have gone to the Hoh Rain Forest twice. The first time it was pouring rain so hard that we abandoned the trip and stayed at a motel in Forks. The second time the sun came out and the wet moss covered trees gleamed and the Roosevelt Elk showed up. It was amazing!
I took all the photographs except the one with me and the kids: my spouse took that one. These are from 2004.
What worries a skier about the opening photograph?
Yesterday the introverted thinker and I went water skiing. On Mount Baker. It rained the whole time. Cold! And the introverted thinker’s knee hurt. We bagged it once I had ice puddles in my ski boots and could squeeze a stream out of my ski gloves.
On the very first lift ride, I realized that my wrist pocket was unzipped. Cash was still in there but the car key wasn’t. We skied down and I checked each place I’d been. No key. We got back on the lift and watched. There were a lot of small black specks. We discussed how much fun it would be to wait for AAA on the top of the mountain.
We skied down, going very slowly right under the lift.
Whew. After that neither of us whined. We skied until we were soaked. Her knee was being uncooperative and she was skiing warily. I couldn’t wear goggles because then my glasses fogged too much. Neither of us could see much through the rain. We went up a higher lift and then it was heavy wet slushy snowing. Then we really couldn’t see. Both nearly crashed skiing by proprioception, when a dip was invisible. I stopped at a sign and then fell backwards, visual cues just weren’t working for balance. Unhurt.
And what does this have to do with dirt? I started skiing at age 9 on the east coast, in upstate New York. We would go from Johnson City and meet my uncle and cousins at the small Labrador Mountain ski area. It was a family area. The snow was often awful. We skiied on ice, slush and dirt. Patches of dirt would show through and we learned to avoid them and avoid the rocks. The first time I skiied powder in Colorado I was mystified: I didn’t know how to ski it. But slush on top of hardpacked moguls? No problem.
So skiing Baker put me back to my tweens. The conditions were so familiar. My body was so comfortable with really crappy snow. The ungroomed parts had so much water on top that skis practically stopped. If I had been dressed in foul weather gear I could have skied most of the day.
But soaking wet is another matter. We turned in the skis and ate a late lunch. Happily used the car key to get dry clothes. Changed and drove back to Bellingham. We had a fabulous dinner looking out over the bay with a wonderful sunset.
Grubby isn’t quite the right word here. At the lake we do get grubby, mostly living outdoors, but the word for this is slick and slippery! There was a burn ban when we first got to the lake, but it rained a lot the last couple of days. When it first rains, the rocks are terribly slick. I was very careful going down on the front rocks, but it didn’t occur to me to warn my daughter or partner. Both fell, feet shot out from under, launched! Both were thankfully fine, just startled and a little banged up! I showed them the alternate route back up the rocks.
The rocks and the lake are so beautiful in the rain. And I worried less about fires.