I grunted an acknowledgement that I’d heard him. What I really meant to say was, “If you think I am ever going out again in this lifetime, you are certifiably mad! I am staying as close to the fire as I can get and remaining here until my lifespan is done or there are flowers blooming in the yard – whichever comes first.”
This was not an unreasonable thought on my part. Let me explain. We got up nice and early this morning – 6 a.m. Simon wanted to get to the building supply store when it opened at 8. I thought I might as well hop in the truck with him and have him drop me off at the foot of Red Mountain Road. Having been a complete sloth yesterday, today I was determined to get to the top of the f8*&^ing mountain. So, mini-crampons on my feet and snowshoes strapped to my pack, I set off shortly before 8.
I had no time to test the actual temperature. As it turns out it was about minus 10 or 12. I noticed the cold pretty quickly when my thumbs started to freeze. And then my fingers. The exposed parts of my face weren’t doing too well either. But I was determined to find this elusive road that Tim at the building supply store had told us about. It’s beside a barn, he’d said.
I trudged on – and on – and on. At the top of Red Mountain Road, I continued down – and down – and down until I was almost at the bottom end of the road. Tim, I decided, was on crack.
And so I retraced my steps. I had a pretty good idea how to access the top of the mountain – same route I took last time but keep going much farther on the top logging road until I could find a path to the top.
But there was another route – I had been assured. I explored every damned driveway on the mountain side of the road – came across lots of “no trespassing” signs, “guard dog” signs and very, very long drives that led to dead ends. (see photo below)
Tim is definitely on crack. Or, by “barn”, he means the huge curved structure that covers the gravel and grit used on the road in the winter – this huge structure is very near the bottom of Red Mountain Road and a road runs up beside it. But it is NOT a barn. Also not at the top of Red Mountain Road as advertised.
At this point, I’ll be quite pleased never to set foot on the road again – but I fear I must. There is no other place to walk to from here. But speaking of walking to – after about 2.5 hours, I got home and sat on the bench at our entrance in rather acute pain from my thumbs and fingers thawing out. Ouch!
I knew access was going to be a challenge here – I forgot to factor in the cold. I need a new strategy for keeping warm out there.
In other news, Simon has done a miraculous job of framing in the skylight in the office. He is now going to varnish and I am going to prep the office stuff (emptying bookcases etc.) to move office furniture upstairs where it belongs and also moving downstairs stuff around to where it belongs.
Simon really is a genius. Putting that skylight together was like a crazy jigsaw puzzle and the job he did – well, as I said to him – my father was a master carpenter and he would have been proud of the job Simon did.