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.
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
High 44 Low 26°
Partly Cloudy, CHANCE OF RAIN: 0% WIND: NW at 8 mph
Tue Nov 26
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.