as i began to run from the prospect heights trailhead, i knew it was going to be a good day. the air was still, calm, and filled with un-fallen snow, the kind of snow that hangs in the air above you with the promise of a future blanket of white. the snow had previously fallen on the hillside, evidenced by the ribbon of trail before me that was soft, white, and untrodden, except for when Jackson would sprint ahead of me. my destination was Near Point.
the run was enjoyable, my first long-ish mountain run since my ankle injury. as i ran up the trail, continuously gaining elevation, the snow deepened. when i finally emerged from the trees and hit the exposed ridge there were drifts of snow about 10" deep. i was following the tracks of another runner now, Hugh, who had passed me lower down. i was appreciative of his footprints because this was only the second time i had made this ascent and the trail was entirely invisible at this point. if one looks closely in the picture you can make out Hugh on the way down.
i was still thoroughly enjoying myself even though my legs and ankles ached in weird places as dormant fibers fired in succession to propel me up the mountain. when i reached the top it was anti-climatic, the sky and snow blending the surroundings into almost zero invisibility. i could tell it was the top only by the slight rounding of the snow drift into a downhill aspect. we snapped a summit shot, i layered up, and we headed down.i shot this on the way down just because of how gorgeous it was. the current BEP song "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night" kept running through my head. it was completely applicable because i knew that after this amazing run i would see my wife and son, later go to a Bible study, and even later attend the Warren Miller opening...good night indeed!
when i reached the car the weather had deteriorated, with the promised snow now falling. it had taken a little under 2 hours to cover the 7 or so miles. i had welcomed winter at the peak of Near Point, what kind of winter will it be? probably a good one.