Saturday, November 25, 2017

Moose Mountain November 25, 2017

It takes extra effort these days to come up with a Saturday safe place to play.  We have a limited number of day light hours to contend with, road conditions need to be monitored as do avalanche ratings, plus what is Mother Nature going to throw our way.   An invite came my way to venture up to Moose Mountain and the thought of being on that terrain in wintery conditions excited me.  I had been there many moons ago on a November day and a photo from that trip still remains as my iMac screen saver.  
We met up then drove up that steep slippery winding long narrow road and I was happy to see we were first in the parking lot.  We donned our clothing attire and opted to leave the snowshoes behind and go spiking all day.  We made a quick job of getting the first tree section over with and got our first glimpse of the glowing Moose Mountain range.
The trail consisted of firmly packed little drifts.
We took a few minutes at the grand opening to eye our destination.  
At this point I tried my new tripod for the first time and I think I like it.  
our only wildlife sighting of the day
Reaching the wide open spaces of course we now felt the wild wind so bundled up a little more.  I remembered from being here that November day many moons ago that the wind whipped the snow into interesting shapes and drifts.  I like to play with perspective and this was my first for today.
ripples of snow as we begin our attack
on a mission
This is a zoomed in shot of the Moose Mountain Fire Lookout and we are working our way to it's deck to dine.  A helicopter had just landed for a few minutes and then twirled away but I was not able to capture a photo as my focus became working my way up there.
My original intent was not to share with the public a certain part of my day but I decided by putting it out there it is a way for me to accept it as a reminder, and a way for me to let it go.  I do go back at times and re-read and re-live my play days and this was an important enough part of this day that I choose to document it.  

As we approached the base of the final climb to the summit and I eyed the route, I already began to feel a little uneasy.  At first for a few seconds I was not sure of the direction we would head and then quite quickly it became apparent.  I had mixed emotions, there was loads of self talk going on, but I continued on.  The further I went the more scared I became and when I passed on by the winter route which I was familiar with, I hit my breaking point.  I froze in the spot.  The words spoken very loudly were to no one other than myself.  I was very disappointed that I got myself into a predicament.  I know better but for whatever reason I was given this reminder today that I do know better.  Thank you Short Stop for sticking close to me and talking me back to a place that was within my comfort zone.   I learned those limits and that comfort zone many years ago.   I believe this all stems from the day I slipped in the snow at the top of the descent route off Tent Ridge and slid and rolled out of control.  I will do my best to keep today's reminder fresh.  I feel embarrassed about situations like this and I feel bad for putting my friend in a place where she has to take care of me.  

While in no way at all did I burst onto the summit, I did burst onto the helipad with my friends.
It was cold, it was windy, we were happy to be on the Moose Mountain summit!
My friends went to seek shelter to dine.  Eating was the furthest from my mind.  My stomach couldn't handle food right now.  I needed a few minutes to just be alone and get my mind into another place because I knew I needed to eventually get off this summit.  I already knew in my mind that I would be taking the winter route down but until I began the descent I couldn't think of anything but.
I made my way to the front deck and joined my friends for a few minutes.
This was our view.
The winter route was right in front of me.
I made my way over the brick wall and at that point I was fine.  I could see that it would be safe the entire rest of the way.  I now felt happy, I truly felt like capturing a happier summit shot and oh boy was my stomach now growling.  I was starving.
We played in the wind!
Here is another perspective photo.  
Guess how tall this fir is?
Where does the snow end and the cloud begin?
Before the long last stretch through the forest, we sat off to the side of the trail where I could down some fuel.  Here I savoured my tuna sandwich, chickpea salad and multi grain tortilla chips.  I washed all that down with cranberry tea.  I admired the clouds do their dance as I dined.
I took one last look back at Moose Mountain.  I liked the color of blue sky and how the clouds framed the summit.  The packed trail shone in spots.   A view like this is what brings me to this place at this time of year.  I said goodbye as we turned and went on our way along the trail.  The road to the trail head closes at end of day November 30th.   Until next spring!

We are so fortunate to have such beautiful weather at this time of year.  Well, it is still autumn.  I look forward to finding my way through white gold as December arrives but we will have to wait and see if Mother Nature will be on side with presenting us with opportunities.  My wish is she will be kind!

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