Not a lot of people like winter around here. Most of them actually hate this time of year. Even if they think the snow is pretty to look at, they hate having to navigate the winding mountain roads when the weather’s bad. I am not one of these people. I actually don’t mind driving in the snow. And driving in a snow storm at night ranks right up there on my list of little things that I love so much. I love Winter and everything about it. However, that being said, living up here on the side of one of these mountains has given me a whole new appreciation for driving in the snow, or up here, driving anywhere from a few days to a week after the snow.
We can pretty much count on getting the fluffy, white stuff if there’s even the slightest indication of it in our local forecast. It’ll snow up here when it’s not snowing anywhere else. It’s really amazing. At the bottom of the mountain, or civilization, as some like to refer to it, it’ll be dry as a bone and nothing going on. About half way up the mountain, the flakes begin to fly and by the time I get to our house, it looks like someone’s shook up a snow globe! For this snow lover, it’s really a wonderful life up here.
Looking at a mountain range far off in the distance after a snow storm and seeing that part of the mountain has melted and is back to its regular brown Winter color and the other part is still snowy white, blanketed in the glorious fluffy, white stuff has always been stunning and gorgeous to me. Especially when the setting sun casts the last colors of daylight on one of these mountains. Vivid, deep purples, bright magentas, and shades of auburn that appear to change with each curve of the mountain and the various shades of white and brown. But after living up here, near the top of one of these majestic mountain ranges, I’ve found that I have a new appreciation for this phenomenon.
There are distinct lines between winter and fall after the warm, Winter sun has melted part of the mountain. Driving along the windy road, one side of the forest floor will be snowy white, while the other side will be filled with all the rich brown, earthy colors of Fall. And it changes with each twist and turn in the road. At certain points, it’s Winter on the left and Fall on the right. Then, as you wind your way higher, just beyond the next bend in the road, Fall’s on the left and Winter’s now on the right. It’s really quite amazing.
The drawback to all this beauty is that parts of the mountain melt completely away, leaving no trace of the slick snow, ice, and slush, while other parts melt just enough to form what should be considered an Olympic sport arena where instead of wearing skates, people drive 4×4 vehicles, sometimes equipped with chains, to compete for gold medals. I’m pretty sure Mountain Man would take the gold each and every year in this event.
I had never been afraid of driving on slick roads in my life until I started trying to drive on these roads up here. Even on a good day, these roads aren’t for the faint of heart. I’ve been told that there are grown men who won’t drive down our driveway in the snow! But I have. I’ve done it a few times. It’s not that bad as long as you’ve got all the right equipment. You know, a four-wheel drive vehicle, a really good set of tires, the ability to actually drive in the snow, and for me, the ability to pray and drive at the same time. I get real close to God this time of year. However, just because I’ve done it, does not mean I wanna do it again.
I’m supposed to go out this morning and I just really don’t know if I’m gonna try it or not. I’m missing some of the necessary equipment required to get me safely to the bottom. My tires are not the best in the world and the thoughts of going down the parts of the mountain that didn’t melt at all yesterday make me wanna go crawl back in bed and hide under the covers.
So here I sit, debating back and forth, the pros and cons of going out this morning. The sun’s just coming up over the mountains to the East and the Carolina blue sky is dotted with a few high puffy clouds. It’s another one of those beautiful NC mornings. Snow or no snow, slick road or dry, I know just how lucky I am to live here in this little cabin, on the side of this mountain, with my Mountain Man.