Sunday, February 10, 2008
Cross Country Skiing, White Squalls and Quiche
Last night I stayed in my studio until after midnight, and so when I woke today at 7:45 a.m., I was zonked... and nearly reset the alarm. But my little room was all lit up, and I noticed that the sun was out and shining and the sky blue, so I splashed water on my face and headed out.
Another resident had taken off to Montreal for the weekend and offered to let me use her cross country skis while she was away. Since I knew she'd be back tonight, and had checked the weather to see that we were supposed to get a ton of snow later today that would last until tomorrow, I took advantage of the morning and hit the trail. I walked through the quiet Sunday morning streets of the village, said hello to one bleary-eyed college student and made my way down Railroad Rd, crossed a bridge over the Lamoille River and to the rails-to-trails path. It's a multi-use trail, and I'd walked it in the other direction the day before with another resident. Today I decided to head east along the lovely, shallow river, that seems almost like a winding flow of black ink against the blinding ice and snowbanks.
It was wonderful being back on cross country skis again! I'd fallen in love with the sport back in 2000, when my friend Jill and I, my cousin Lindsay, and several of her friends had made a Spring Break journey to Alaska to visit our Aunt Kathleen. It took me the first twenty minutes to get back into the hang of it--but the feel of gliding along in a silent, snow filled forest was like nothing else. For the first hour I was all alone, and then the snow mobliers come out. I just side-stepped for them, and we all waved at each other as they passed. They're smelly and loud, but the drivers were quite friendly to me this morning, and I can see they're having a helluva lot of fun.
I skiied for two hours, and on my way back through town, skis and poles over my shoulders, it began to snow again (the sun had disappeared behind a wall of gray). I returned the skis to my new friend's studio, and jogged to the Red Mill Inn, where I had a fantastic Sunday brunch of vegetable quiche made with goat's cheese (everything should be made with goat's cheese), waffles with Vermont maple syrup, strawberries and juice. All I can hope is that my exercise made up for the caloric intake, because it was delicious and I was starving.
Now I sit at my desk in my studio, watching the churning snow outside fill the air. For a while there's been a complete whiteout, which the weather forecast had warned about. It's called a white squall, or a snow squall, and it's almost like a mini hurricane of snow where all you can see in any direction is white. It's really wild watching it from my safe and warm studio. I'm happy I managed to get out before it hit!
We're supposed to get another 10 plus inches over today and tomorrow. I have a manuscript critique with one of the Visiting Writers--Dave King, author of The Ha-Ha and a super-nice man--this afternoon.
It's just another day at the Vermont Studio Center, and I am reminded once again how lucky and blessed I am to be here.
Enjoy the photos: they're of my hike yesterday with a poet and new friend named Seth (another native Southerner... he's from Alabama), and my cross country ski today.