Feeling cagey from the weather, my girlfriend and I hit the woods on foot out of desperation. The snow was nearly a foot high in town, but much to our surprise the Pisgah Mountains had merely a dusting. We were sorry we didn’t have our bikes as we passed the Black Mountain trail head, which looked dry, yet void of bikes.

The trail head at Looking Glass was crowded with hikers, so we hurried ahead for the sake of pretending we had the woods to ourselves. My snowpants and multi layers of fleece were a little overkill, but too warm is always preferred to too cold. It’s nice to get a good sweat going in the cold. I’m pretty sure that working out in the cold burns far more calories since the body spends a lot of energy trying to stay warm. We were pretty hungry by the time we hit the top.

Looking out across the range we were surprised to see only a light coat of snow between the distant trees, like toothpicks in coconut. It’s good that we got our hike in when we did. The Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Mitchell webcams the next day showed total whiteout conditions as the entire region got pounded with a foot of snow.

In years past, I laughed at how fortunate we are here in Asheville and Brevard, being able to ride bikes all year round, save a week or two. These last two winters have proved different. My cross-country skis sit in the garage, without any boots to match, remnants of Chicago winter sports. I guess I’ll be heading to Black Dome today to fix that problem. Apparently my Chariot bike trailer also comes with a harness so that it can be pulled while skiing. I laughed at the picture in the catalog a few years ago when I first got it. I’m laughing again since it would be impossible to manage through these drifts unless the wheels could be replaced with skis.

I think about my brand new ride in the basement. I haven’t even had a chance to ride it up the street since the only days we’ve had reprieve from the snow have been my days to either work or be with both kids.

For the first time in forever even the YMCA is closed. I’m now building igloos for the children to get them out of the house for more than 30 minutes at a time. Maybe I’ll give them their school work out there, too.