snow, stars, and sweeping S’s

“I don’t think we’ve been here before,” I said. My first clue should have been that San Antonio Mountain, a round mound of earth just north of the Colorado-New Mexico border, passed on our left. But Sandi and I were neck deep in discussion, sharing the depths of our hearts and souls as jagged Colorado peaks shrouded in ominous clouds gave way to stark clay mesas painted in all shades of red, brown, and even yellow on a shockingly beautiful detour from my usual route.

2005 ended with me sluicing sweeping S’s in untouched snow between the evergreens on the slopes of Keystone Resort. Though the air was thinner and my legs less responsive than I remember, the beauty and thrill are still as fresh and amazing as ever. The cake was skiing with my best friend; the icing was being challenged to fly far faster than I probably should have, in effort to keep up lest I be put to shame by a Californian snowboarder.

2006 began with us tromping between tall skinny pine trunks highlighted by a strip of snow on the upwind side of each one. Views of distant snow-topped peaks halted us in a clearing, surrounded by only a smooth blanket of glittering white and the muffled sound of our guide dog Emmit’s antics.

A few days later a bright orange sliver of moon hung just above the horizon. Far below me a ribbon lights drove north on I-25 from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Orion twinkled above me – almost lost among the myriad stars above New Mexico. Urban sprawl stretched out from the distinct grid of Albuquerque. Yet for all their vast number, the off-white city lights are like scurrying ants blindly pursuing busyness while the moon lays its stately orange curve down on the horizon – God’s majestic sigh.

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