So even though I have had a year 'round season of riding, we are at an interesting milestone here on the home turf. The high country is starting to open up. A bit. 'Twill be slow and late to be sure, but it is starting. Soon the cry of "Snodgrass is open, Snodgrass is open!! will echo off of the walls of the Eldo and all of the Crested Beauticians will emerge from their hibernation and start to participate in this year.
For the outdoor enthusiast, it creates sort of a "through the looking glass" fall. A palpable transition from one state of nature to the next. Spring isn't quite the right analogy, as there isn't quite yet the abundance of verdancy. And even though it is spring, stealing off up into those quiet woods watched over by ghost-like stands of barren aspen feels more like fall.

Gazing further up into the really high country, the mountains brooding and grumbling about whether they are ready to let go of winter, feels more like fall.

It makes me think of that Minturn ride last November. The one that seems so long ago. The "clattery beak of winter" ride.
Now you can get a peek at what is to come. The next mode of riding. There are other signs too.
The folks in Moab and Fruita are exhaling a bit after the spring rush.
The increasingly shrill defiance of skiers.

Looking at my upcoming travel schedule, there is a definite shift from desert to mountain. Phoenix, Moab, Fruita are being traded for Crested Butte, Sun Valley and Park City.
And here at home I can watch the last frantic writhings of winter roll up and down the foothills. In the order that they were taken:

That's the line where winter turns into spring.

We'll see you up there.

Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009