Winter at 9600 feet

s1261613944_82394_92331The temp was a balmy 7 degrees.  The streets were icy.  Cloudy skies with an Arctic wind blowing in.  Time to lace up the running shoes and hit the hill.  One hour later, after a hairy descent on icy roads, I wipe the frozen snot from my face and walk into my local coffee shop, The Amazing Grace.  I’d be grinning if my lips weren’t frozen.

Seated round tables, a good portion of the early morning crowd in various stages of post-workout undress, shows I’m not the only one out this chilly mountain morning. Hats, gloves, outer layers,  were hung over the backs of chairs.   Red faces, wild post-sweat hat hair, and still sniffling noses share their personal morning snow report from the various trails around town.  

What’s truly amazing are how many respectable town’s people are in the coffee shop throughout the morning post play.   Does no one work?   As long as it fits around a few untracked powder runs.  Town council members, local business owners, and ‘ski bums’ mingle together – easily interchangeable.   Our local doc, makes the morning bugle revelry out the front door followed with calls of fresh coffee and the scone of the day.  

This is a town where the coffee shop is owned by a world champion adventure racer, the baristas are semi pro athletes and the menu is heavy on the carbs!  Fat free muffins?  Never heard of ’em.   This community burns calories like Catholics on a witch hunt.  

When you live at 9600 feet…winter is not an excuse to hole up and drink hot chocolate.  At least not until you’ve skinned up the mountain pre-dawn, skated a few loops at the nordic center, or snowshoed through fresh powder.   Below zero temps? Add more layers.  Gusty winds?  Bring your balaclava and stop whinging.   Short on time?  Skip the skis for a death defying road run.   Crappy snow?   Yoga.

Gotta run, the snow is falling hard and I’ve got decisions to make before morning!

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