Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Custer winter

Winter in Custer, SD. Not a pretty sight. Not enough snow for the typical western winter pursuits of snowshoeing, skiing, etc. Too much snow for real biking. Well, let me qualifiy that. Real biking without some serious measures. Booties, goretex, fleece, wool, studded snowtires, hot water in the water bottles (freezes slower than the drinking tube of a camelbak), and most importantly, doggie coat on the doggie. Java was born and bred in the never-chilly climate of Panama, and she has short hair, which doesn't do her much good below about 20 degrees farenheit. So off we go these unemployed days, me bundled up in many layers, and Java with her coat, mostly relying on a incredible metabolism to keep her warm. We ran yesterday when it was 13 degrees, rode today at 28 degrees, and she was just fine. Amazing.
I should really bring the camera and get some shots of us out in the cold, but that seems like a bad idea. Every minute spent dawdling is a minute closer to frostbite. My physiology has cursed me with a propensity for sweating and poor circulation in my hands and feet, so needless to say, winter is never really my friend. At best we have a standoff- the cold doesn't hurt me too badly as long as I don't tease it too much.
But soon, soon, soon- I start work. And I hope this season is much busier than that last. I realize that I have a difficult time explaining just how incredible my job can be; I often come up short explaining what I do and how . I get paid to do things that surpass fun, surpass wild, surpass crazy. On a good day, and I have lots of good days, I'm out in the woods, doing dangerous and engaging things for a fairly meager salary from the government, hooting with pleasure, gloating on how lucky I am. Ok, fair enough, time for bed. 10:00 pm is late in the Dakotas, eh?