The snow is here. It came so suddenly, falling quickly onto mud-soaked trails still warm from an Indian Summer.

Even the weekend was warm, although the skies threatened what was soon to come. Maybe it was my little brother Timmy gracing the Pisgah Forest from his home in Moab that kept the cold rain at bay for yet another day. We had an old-homey ride. Magic like that can turn the sucker hole of a storm into a glory hole, which it did. The dark clouds hung around the periphery, only slightly glistening us with drizzle in only the sweatiest of climbs.

I guess I was just in denial. After all, November is over. I begrudgingly built a fire with soggy kindling, and spent the day trying to get it hotter and hotter. I never really accomplished that task despite expending all of my energy into making other people’s body’s better through massage. I just couldn’t shake the chill. The electric heater in the corner buzzed relentlessly, yet never really morphed into what I wanted it to be: a down comforter in a big bed with hot tea.

I got the kids from school in my mud-spattered truck and the puppy greeted us with sloppy paws. I shivered in my down jacket. We slopped across the house in a stream from the back door to the front hall closet where we dumped our wet things. All the kids wanted to do was shoot their new cap guns, which I had banned to the outside for my own sanity. I built the fire bigger as I compromised with a gun battle in the garage where they also spun their bikes across the cold cement.

Already the back yard is a quagmire, and the pump track a small swimming hole. This can’t bode well for what the trails look like, which is excellent justification for not riding. It was a true soaking over the last two days. The steady rain covered the region, quenching a rather dry crust, like leftover summer. If the snow falls like it has been we will see another lush spring. The moss finally came back this summer, but only in patches. I see that I’m already looking forward to meadows of wildflowers.

So I dig through the back of the closet past the summer riding clothes and find the fleece tights and thermal shirts. It is time. Perhaps if I get warm enough I will work up the courage to leave the woodstove…

Places to Go, Things to See: