The long fingers of a frozen night creeped deep to the bone. Attempting to hunker further down into my bag, I made another futile attempt to rub my feet together and warm the ice-blocks at the ends of my legs. But like each of the dozen attempts I'd made before, I couldn't get them to budge. In my half sleep/half frozen, middle-of-the-night haze I dreamed the entire weight of the world were holding my feet down. In reality, the force that held them was a mere 33lbs of lean, never mean, usually happy, bouncing dog machine. But this night, she was not happy with me.
|Summer Sausage and Cheese. Yum.|
It was all sunshine and daisies until I reached mile 2.5 of the planned 6 and found the trail fully snow-covered. Of course, bullheaded forest gypsies dont let snow stop them. It also doesnt stop dogs who love that white stuff, even if they sink to their bellies. After post holing until the light began to soften into dusk, I finally back tracked to a different lake miles short of my original destination to make camp.
|Is it a fox? No! Its Maile the Great!|
It was at that point I realized the thin blanket I'd brought for her wasn't warm enough and the only warm place for her to sleep was between my feet. Or rather, kinda between my feet and mostly on them - I was sleeping in an efficient tapered bag after all.
|Sleeping Bag Bandit|
Most trips, I find, turn out to be nothing like they were planned. Most turn out better. Others, well, they turn out less than better. But usually with some not-so-bestness comes (hopefully) a bit of wisdom. Never again will I go on a snow camping trip without a second sleeping bag for my dog, another buddy who's larger body will help keep the tent warm, or enough handwarmers to line my entire sleeping bag and the dog's blanket with resupplies for halfway through the night. My inner forest gypsy will be running amok again soon. Hopefully she'll remember to pack a bit more carefully.
**Snarky Bumbler's Note: While I realize its time to ski not hike and I cant get enough of the deep white these days, this little memory pops up often, no matter the time of year. It reminds me to treasure the bits of goodness found in even the least pleasant of situations, to be like Maile and smile and bounce down every path - snowy or not, to breathe in every sunrise and sunset (even if I'm silently shivering down/up the trail in solitude), and to always pack an extra layer, a flask of whiskey, and handwarmers no matter the season.