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Back at home, life returns to normal. As always after a storm, the sun shines a bright white light and the sky reflects a clear blue. Melting snow drips through the downspouts. Eurasian Doves wrangle with leaves and twigs beneath the snow, looking for a tasty tidbit. A few Sparrows return from their storm shelters and pick through the feeders, fighting each other for the best access. The cold temperatures persevere, although twenty degrees seems balmy now.

EURASIAN COLLARD DOVE

EURASIAN COLLARD DOVE (Photo credit: Aquila-chrysaetos)

When I take Tango outside for breakfast and a sun shower, I see patches of ice on the ground and snow sliding slowly off my camper. Ahhh, the camper. Will I ever meet up with days warm enough to camp this winter?  Reading Muir and others over the long winter months may not be such a great idea. Adventure ideas twirl around my brain and I wander the Internet, gathering information. Perhaps a trip up the Inside Passage on a ferry, following Muir’s footsteps?  Maybe a paddle trip in Montana?

I do not like forcing time to pass–it goes fast enough–so I come back to today and the possibilities of winter camping. I need to reconsider my criteria for evaluating proper winter camping weather. Right now, I won’t go out unless nighttime temps are at freezing or above and the days sunny. I have missed a few windows of opportunity with nighttime temps a bit lower and days partly cloudy. Since my perfect formula does not occur often,  I decide to take a risk and go out Monday/Tuesday of Thanksgiving week if the following forecast holds:

Mon Nov 25  Partly Cloudy

High 44   Low  26°

Partly Cloudy, CHANCE OF RAIN: 0%   WIND: NW at 8 mph

Tue Nov 26Sunny

HIgh 48°  Low  32°

Sunny,  CHANCE OF RAIN:0%   WIND:   W at 5 mph

I have a heater in the camper, two sleeping bags, a stove for making hot drinks, and all the warm layers of clothing John Muir could only dream about. It is time to stop looking towards summer and get out there!  I won’t go far and will come home if conditions are miserable. However Muir has raised the bar a few feet. After reading about his Alaskan adventures I am not likely to come home because of a little cold weather.

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