November 22, 2011
The front windshield was completely fogged, except for a pillow sized opening in the middle of the dash. A wipe of my forearm exposed the winding gravel road for ten seconds before closing up. Leaning forward, I peered through the gap in the fog. Luckily, the road was deserted and I steered the Syncro down middle of the road. Thick snow flakes stuck to the window, melting after a few seconds. I turned up the wipers.
“The defroster on this thing is a real gem.” my brother said, cracking his window with the manual crank.
“Yahh yahhh, the fan nob is broken. I gotta get it fixed.”
As we marched up the mountain in second gear, the snow dried out and the flakes shrunk. Narrowly avoiding the blunt nose of my Vanagon, they flew over and out of sight in some feat of aerodynamics known to a select few in Pasadena and Cambridge. After seven miles on the gravel road, we pulled over on the side of the road.
“This looks like the place.”
“Have you ever been here before?”
“No but this is what it looked like on Google maps.”
We bundled up and headed out into the open field.
More so than any other weather event, the arrival of snow each year establishes the change of season. Falling asleep one night in late fall , I woke up the next morning squarely in winter to a few inches of wet snow. Loading into the Syncro that morning, we headed up to the hills behind Mosier, Oregon in search of deeper snow and eager to enjoy the season’s first snow.
A dirt trail up the hill and into the clouds.
Lucy, my mom’s trusted companion. Full bred Irish Terrier, half breed pain in the ass.
Stopping to take a photo, my mom and brother unsuspectingly walked ahead. Four years of constant snow warfare in Maine taught me to always be vigilant. Scraping snow off the ankle high grass, I balled it into a lemon sized ball and waited. I made up some of the distance between my brother and mom. Sensing that something was wrong, my mom’s dog spun around and barked. My brother followed suit, catching a snowball on the nose.
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