Sunday, October 26, 2008

First snow

Date: Oct. 25
Mileage: 32.3
October mileage: 409.7

Although we've been seeing snow in the surrounding mountains since mid-September, the actual city limits of Juneau weren't hit with snow until Friday night. Oct. 24 is actually a little early for Juneau's first snow, located as it is in the banana belt of Alaska. It means winter's not here to stay, but it's always fun to see white stuff before Halloween.

Riding through 6-8 inches of fresh powder up a moderately steep trail is the best full-body workout there is ... you know, besides running, yoga, cross-country skiing, pilates and swimming. For the second day in a row, I came home coated in sweat with legs tired to the core after spending four hours covering 32 miles. Still, the downhill runs are amazing ... steamrolling down singletrack in a white powder blast, wheels nearly silent in the snow, bouncing over partially-covered rocks, carving wide turns with the fat tires, eyes streaming with tears in the cold wind, kind of like a happy cry. Downhill snowbiking is always the best at first snows, when the dirt base allows unchecked speed, but the soft powder muffles inhibitions.

The rest of the time, you're moving slow enough to notice all the changes in your world. This is the spring-growth tree that I photographed the other day, looking a little forlorn. I don't think those baby leaves are going to last much longer, but I still admire the tree's effort.

Eventually I will become more accustomed to winter scenery and I won't deluge my blog with so many photos. But for now, I figured, eh, it's my blog. Might as well post the waterfall picture ...

Silverbow Basin ...

Salmon Creek Road ...

Salmon Creek ...

And a single sun shot to part with. Now, back to rain.