Monday, January 11, 2010
Winter's Here to Stay
We're in the midst of a real winter. As in much of the state, the mercury dropped below freezing in mid-December and has showed no signs of rising since. The pre-Christmas snow storm that paralyzed much of the mid-Atlantic dropped well over two feet of snow in the Spruce Knob area and snow has fallen nearly every day since. The wind picked up around the first of the year, blowing this snow in every direction and leaving drifts on the driveway that are taller than most everyone I know. The yurts are open to ski and snowshoe traffic only and it appears that this will be the case for some time to come. The state road crew plows the road up to the gate and David Colby Martin, TMI's Program Officer who also lives on the mountain, has a plow on his truck and has kept our lower parking area open and provides us access to the office.
It's the time of year where we get a chance to catch up on work that goes by the wayside during our busy program seasons. We work to better our programming options and content, plan for improvements in our overall operation, catch up with TMI friends and supporters, and fill the remaining gaps in our spring program schedule. This time, although casual, spawns the philosophy of a new year of operation. We brainstorm, compare thoughts and ideas, revisit our mission, and work on making The Mountain Institute more effective.
The sun doesn't rise over Spruce until after 7:30, remains low in the sky, and is soon behind us and back in the trees well before work is through. There are no unexpected visitors, no hunting dogs, and no traffic. When the wind blows, that's all one can hear. It swirls in the canyon and picks up speed as it rises over Back Ridge, across the High Plains, up and over Spruce Knob, and continues on its way towards the Atlantic.