I admit it. When we pulled into the Badger Pass parking lot this morning, in the dark, I had serious reservations about this being the right time to go for a skate ski. But, we had done the backward calculation, and figured this was when we needed to start to make it in to work at a reasonable hour. The car thermometer said 15°F, which is a fair bit chillier than the 35° that we are used to around here. We hadn’t waxed the skis, being lazy and accustomed to the speedy spring conditions we were having, so that meant skating was a lot harder than usual as well. We skied part way down the hill toward Bridalveil Campground. Normally that is a nice turn-around point, but I stopped early – in fear of the slow conditions and the return climb.
Half-way through the ski, our faces, ears, fingers and toes were uncomfortably cold or numb, but the sun started to come out, and the sky had ribbons of pink and purple in it. During a short break, I realized that bird song was everywhere. Someday I’ll learn to recognize what kinds they were. And there were fresh tracks in the snow from coyotes and squirrels.
By the time we got back to the car, I’d gotten a nice workout, and was really enjoying the morning. It was still cold though. If you look carefully at this picture, you can see that my braids are all frosty from the cold air. Tom raced back to the car to grab the camera (and the new 50mm f/1.8 lens we just got on Monday), to take pictures.
We thawed out in the car on the drive back to our house in Yo West, and were treated to a beautiful coyote sighting. He seemed very preoccupied with something on the other side of the road, and stood still to pose while we snapped pictures. I love the Yosemite coyotes, and I think we’ve been seeing this one roaming the neighborhood for several months at least. He didn’t seem to think we were important at all – either as a threat or as a source of handouts – which is always nice to see. But I think he was happy when we finally pulled away and he could return to the road instead of falling through the deeper snow.
Then, just to top off the morning, I paused at Sentinel Bridge pull-out again to revisit the rainbow that visits around 8:30 each day. It’s like we’re becoming friends, that rainbow and I. I haven’t been stopping, the last few days, but Yosemite Falls was iced up in a beautiful fan pattern, that was already starting to come down as it got warmer out, and I was having such a great morning I decided to stop and take some more pictures. Tom and I keep promising ourselves that one day we’ll hike up the Upper Falls trail one chilly morning and hang out at Indica Point (Oh My Gosh Point) to watch the ice come crashing down.
Not too bad for a working day! It brings me back to being grateful for all the things that make my life so wonderful. An early morning ski with my favorite person in the world, skate skis, sunrise, frosty braids, cameras, new lenses, coyotes, waterfalls, rainbows, and, yes, even the job that got me out of bed at an unreasonable hour so that I could have a great morning like this.