Mighty cold

Last night Alamosa, CO had the distinction of being the coldest place in the nation. This isn't a huge surprise. It happens every year. Still, the fact of the cold is shocking. When we beat out Fairbanks, Alaska and Bismarck, North Dakota, I know it is cold. Minus 33 degrees to be exact. I am still completely amazed my car started at 7:30 this morning. It took a few tries. She was really cranky when I let the clutch out but on the third try she kept running. After 20 minutes of letting her warm up, there was ice on the inside of the windows and no melting at all of the 1/4 inch of ice on the outside of the windshield. Though I parked in the sunshine at work, when I went out to eat my lunch at noon, it was frozen in my lunch bag.

The cold makes me hold myself tight to my bones.
It doesn't let me fly free. It makes me clench against the pressure of it.
This is hunching in your coat cold.
Dog won't walk on the snow because it hurts her feet cold.
I don't care if my hair gets messed up, I'm wearing a hat cold.

Our house is an old farmhouse outside of Alamosa a few miles. It still has single pane windows (which you might remember I complained about being painted shut in the summer...) and no insulation in the floor. My laundry room which is also the storage room, coat room, mud room, and entryway to the house as the real front door is broken, was below freezing yesterday evening. The door hinges scream when you open the door because they are iced together. Needless to say the washer is frozen.

The cold is insidious, insistent, and a little frightening.
The neighbor's sheep, in all their pounds of wooly glory, are huddled together en masse against it.
And that is saying something.

Fall has come

I live very close to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Last weekend I climbed to Mosca Pass in the park (a great hike along a stream which is not too strenuous--although people have complained that when I label a hike as "easy" that doesn't mean they won't need to be carried out on a stretcher. All I can say is, get your Colorado Search and Rescue CORSAR card before hiking with me). It was beautiful, but I was completely shocked to find the aspens well on their way to full yellow. I don't know how I let this sneak up on me. It happens every year around this time. I like to keep my level of denial high in the fall. I desperately cling to hiking season and hate to admit that I might have to abandon my beloved mountains until as late as June unless I'm willing to take up backcountry skiing... which I'm not because I'm a total klutz and afraid of smacking into a tree at 60 mph.
So, the winter is approaching. I'm hoping for one more backpacking trip into the Sangres the end of October... but the thought of camping under a tarp covered with snow is a little daunting. BUT winter is a good time for weaving and my studio space is sunny and warm in the winter. So bring on the snow (and if you don't know, Alamosa is often the coldest place in the nation--routinely hitting -30 degrees F especially in January)... maybe I'll get some weaving done.
This little guy was hanging on for dear life. Sort of how I feel about letting go of summer.