A Moment of Warmth
I had not really thought about it before. The process of getting up early in the morning for studio had become typical. But you know, sometimes typical can be good too.
The morning was crisp, and cool. The leaves had changed to their shades of orange, red, and yellow, preparing to drop for the winter. I walked up to the meeting spot and sat on the stone wall. There were four of us, not many this week I was told, but then again, camera trapping is not your typical Saturday morning. We all piled into the van and headed out for the station.
It was almost comical. All of us dressed like marshmallow men, as if a snowstorm were about to hit campus: heavy coats, boots, rip-stop pants. No one was going to take a chance on being any more cold and miserable than we had to be up on Salt Pond Mountain. Though it was fall here, it was already in the depths of winter there.
We flew down 460 towards West Virginia. That was one thing I never understood about wildlife folks: their innate desire to drive very, very fast.
“You doing alright Ken,” someone asked.
I said nothing. My white knuckles should have said it all for me.
I shook my head yes.
After traveling for a little while the van made a quick right onto a smaller road and started our ascent up the mountain. I noted that there was still color in the trees.
“Silly freshman,” I was told that this would not last.
We continued up the road and it began to wind around the different ridges as we continued to climb. This road was not meant for the light hearted.
There were several instances where rounding a ridge meant a turn in the road that was almost 180 degrees. I imagined something like a large semi-truck could not handle this kind of turn, and even go over the edge. Of course to add to the fast driving, we were told that cars had gone off of the edge.
I fear the abyss, the edge.
We rounded one of the hairpin turns and it was everywhere. Snow was everywhere. It was like a person had painted the ground white. What was fantastic was that we were the first to drive over the snow, leaving a trace for a small while of where we had come from, aimed towards our destination.
We went up over a hill and came upon Mountain Lake Hotel. As we roared past, the scene blanketed in snow, stood tranquil against the hillside, waiting for visitors.