It’s currently 8 degrees and clear. We received 1” of snow yesterday evening, giving us 7 inches on the ground. Yesterday’s high was 20 degrees, with an overnight low of 5 degrees.
From the reports, I’m hearing on the radio, Hwy 441 is being actively worked on. Keep an eye on the Smoky Mountain Roads twitter page to see when it reopens.
Covered and bundled, I was off to Myrtle Point. The lack of sunshine and strong winds pushed the temperature well into negative territory. My coffee, now lukewarm, was hitting the spot. I began my ascent to toward the summit. I followed my foot prints from yesterday’s afternoon run. The bounding steps were barely visible. The wind had reshaped the delicate landscape. I trudged through the drifts. My thoughts soon drifted to yesterday’s run…
I was almost to the summit. My breathing, though labored, was synchronized with my cadence. My sunglasses had already saved my eyes from more than one snow laden fir branch. Feeling primal, I broke trail across the summit.
Was I being hunted or was I the hunter? Fortunately, it was up to me. I played back and forth between the scenarios. If I was hunted, I could feel adrenaline pumping into my system. I could easily accelerate. When I became the hunter, my vision cleared and the world around me began to move in slow motion. I was focused.
I started to descend the familiar section of mountain. Letting myself become the hunted, I accelerated forward. Gravity pulled, I moved exponentially faster. I looked ahead. The turn was coming fast, too fast. I was subconsciously calculating the distance and time before impact. Suddenly, I saw my line. I pulled the E-brake, initiating a controlled slide. I slid for less than a second and then mashed the accelerator. I glided down the middle of the trail…the hunt continued.
...the wind howled.
P.S. – After arriving back to the lodge, I grabbed my back-up battery and marched back out into the cold. The shots above and below were the result.