It's a beautiful Smokies morning today. The high yesterday reached 49 degrees. The overnight low was 35 degrees. It was 39 degrees and cloudy at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation, but we have had plenty of melt. There is only about 4 inches of snow remaining. It is mostly packed down and it is pretty soft and wet. It feels like today will be a quiet day on the trails, get out and enjoy them!
I do not pay much attention to the paper calendar up here, so it shouldn't be too surprising that February seems to sneak up on me every season. February is my favorite month. I feel comfortable and settled into my cabin, I have developed my routine, and it feels smooth, like the tail end of a long vacation. Februaries always feel distinct up here - we typically get the biggest snow of my tenure in this little month, the road seems to close more often, and I usually have to trade out my trail runners for my dreaded boots. I also let my obsession with volume slide a bit and spend more time in my cabin, reading, writing, enjoying my mind in my little cabin world as much as I enjoy my body on those long, long physical days in the great big out there. It's kind of a JP solstice - this is the least active month for me, a happy little torpor. In six months I hope to be running 50-70 miles per week, so it's nice to spend so much time with my nose in books and store those quiet times up like squirrel nuts. I get to enjoy this quiet cabin life a few times over - looking forward to it, actually living it in February, and reminiscing about it while I am bone tired in some far flung place come August. C'est la vie.
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