It's another beautiful, wintry morning up top. The high yesterday reached a brisk 17 degrees. The overnight low was 12 degrees. It's currently 14 degrees and overcast, some light flurries falling intermittently. The mountain received 2 inches of new snow, bringing our total up to about 3 powdery inches. The trails are still quite slick, I would recommend some sort of traction devices. US 441 is currently closed, but it sounds as though the Park Service road crews are doing their best to open it up today in spite of more snow in the forecast. Check out the roads' status on the Park Service's twitter feed.
It's almost always what most people would consider 'quiet' around the lodge, but there is an especially poignant silence that comes when there is snow atop. Perhaps it is just the knowledge that I am one of very few folks in the park with 441 closed, or the muffling effect of the fine powder, but my afternoon strolls wear a cloak of added significance on these overcast, snowy days. I don't just feel like I am the only person atop, I am... My only bretheren is the fox and bobcat. The peace comes a little easier on days with such assurance, filling the silent gaps between chickadee calls, gentle winds, and creaking trees with a flood of contentedness. My backyard is one of the fine areas in America deemed worthy of special protection and I revel in the magnificence, grateful that my forebearers had the insight to preserve such a noble environment and the state of mind that comes with such immersion. I reap the rewards of their sagacity every afternoon.