I woke this morning to rain and snow which quickly turned into just snow. After a cup of tea I ventured out into the freshly fallen snow.
I'm never one for staying on paths. If I can leave them I don't hesitate to do so. Whenever I do this I always discover something new and wonderful. All summer I spent tramping through the mountains, climbing peaks which gave me stunning views of the lake. With two inches or more of snow on the ground I decided I wouldn't stop my expeditions now.
I drove down to Trout Creek and pulled off at the first turn I came to. Because the snow was particularly wet and heavy every low area was flooded. I stumbled into a marsh and discovered that while my hiking boots might be water proof this didn't keep them dry when water sloshes in from the top.
While I always find the forest to be pretty, the moment there's a good snowfall the trees seem to turn magical. The whole world I tumbled in to was silent and white. Tree branches bent under the weight of snow and even the river slowed its mad rush as if it were prepared to hid under a layer of ice.
The river was close to breaking over the banks. At first I kept to the higher areas, away from the river and the chance of soaking my boots and skirt. I stayed under my umbrella and listened to the snow as it slid off the trees and crashed down on top of me. I soon gave up that endeavor however, The river pulled me closer but to get through it I had to plunge through the marshes. Soon the hem of my skirt was wet, then the damp climbed until it nearly reached my knees.
I still couldn't turn back. I'd pause in patches like this, where the green stood out in stark contrast to the white around me, as if I had come across a piece of summer which still clung to the earth.
The whole world changed. Somehow the forest felt wilder. Almost as if it didn't wish me to be there and hoped to frighten me off. And at the same time it pulled me deeper in. It asked me to explore further, to see every piece of magical wonder it held.
I followed the river down and crossed it by walking over a large drain. At the other side I discovered an abandoned section of road with a tunnel still going under it. For some reason I couldn't bring myself to get a picture of it. It felt as if it deserved to remain behind, a secret lost in the snow and cold.
By the time I started back to my car I'd given up on the umbrella. I let the snow fall on my eyelashes, felt the first real winter cold as the water in my boots started to freeze, and thought of my little house and hot tea. I can only hope everyone who comes to Tahoe has the chance to see the same wonders I have. Though often they are not easy to reach.