gold creek

i adore winter. 

my family, we're winter people. we've talked about this before

of course, moving to seattle two calendar changes ago brought rainy winters. cloudy decembers and gusty januarys, punctuated by off and on rainstorms. there's really no predicting the weather in the winter here. it's gray until it's wet, and the rain just comes and goes as it pleases. 

i'm possibly magnesium deficient but i really don't mind the mild weather winter. it gives me good reason to stay inside under blankets or in cookbooks. to own 4 rain jackets. to never bother straightening my curls. but sometimes, amidst the contentedness and between the downpours, i miss real winter.

we're lucky that even in seattle, it isn't far away. if you climb to a hill high enough, you can see both mountain ranges that bookend king county. the olympics and the cascades — just an hour away. winter is right there. so close that, sometimes, you can see it through the rain.  

we bought season passes to stevens and booked ski trips to montana to get our fix of alpine. and even on the busiest of days on the slopes, the mountain air still felt crisp and wild. you never get tired of that feeling.

but to really experience the winter i know from a midwest upbringing, i had to find a different way to get out there. and so when my mom gave me snowshoes for christmas, i got a chance to slow down and savor the cold.

snowshoeing in the mountains can be a pretty epic adventure depending on where you roam, but since i have a string of bad luck strong enough to summon an avalanche or wake a hibernating bear, i play it safe snowshoeing. i stay low in the valleys and i don't want to go very far.

in washington, you don't have to in order to see something really spectacular.

and so my favorite place to snowshoe became gold creek. because if you got up early enough, before everyone else with the same idea, you were alone with the lakes and creeks and lost cabins for a while. alone with some really nice winter air, and a soundtrack of crunching snow. in different company and different conditions, it always remained lovely and somehow new. 

summer will be splendid and i am so excited to climb and swim and sleep outside without fear of freezing my toes off.

but, mr. winter, i really love you. this season we just shared — it was a good one. until next time.

here are a few photos from one trip to gold creek in early february.