Winter has finally taken hold, steadily and strongly. Each day, we awaken to at least a little new snow, over top of a solid base of snow that probably won't melt until spring. Most mornings, Shyla and I head out to make tracks. I won't lie - she usually leads the way, which helps my effort just a little bit.
You see, it's very hard breaking new trail in snow, especially when you're riding a bike. The slightest upward incline can force me off my bike to push instead of pedal.
I have goal of keeping at least a small trail loop open throughout the winter. It isn't easy. The wind loves to blow here, sending snow granules flying into the air. The wind-driven snow collects in the lowest spots, like the trails that I just made the day before.
This photo was from just before sunrise one day. I'd packed this trail to a nice solid consistency the day before. Mother Nature won - she blew 8" of snow into the trail overnight, making it impossible to ride. However, you can see from the pawprints that it was easy for a dog to run on it!
The snow next to the trails looks like cake frosting after the wind whips it into peaks and valleys.
The swirled snow amuses me endlessly, especially on days when pedaling my bike feels almost impossible.
The most amazing thing is how Shyla is not slowed by any of this. She seems mystified by why I ride so slowly when there's loose snow on the trail. Look at Shyla fly!
As long as I can focus on those good things about winter, I don't unconsciously starting counting down the days until spring...