It snowed lightly during the night, and extremely lightly intermittently during the morning. The skies looked totally winter because they were. I had a place waiting for the perfect day, and here it was!
My perfect plan called for me to run one of the East Pelican courses from the O' Fest, except doing it in snow. I threw the dice and the numbers came up Red, so Red it was. Up top, there was new snow, several inches worth, and a snow cloud was settled in over the Summit. I think it snowed up there all day long. It was cold, and there was at most an occasional glimpse of a wan sun through the low clouds out at Pelican Bay. It would have been very tough conditions for the ordinary buttered turkey from, say Dallas/Ft. Worth, but I was no buttered turkey and I certainly wasn't from Dallas. So it was more like normal to me. And if you remember that there is no greenbriar, blackberries, poison ivy, honey locust, and if you knew there was almost no wind to speak of...well then actually it was pretty fine, a crisp feel on the face like you should want to feel during winter, and kilometers and kilometers of nearly untracked snow waiting.
It's funny how different things look in the winter when snow is everywhere, and more snow is falling, compared to the summer. It would seem like for O' purposes it would hardly matter in terms of navigation and interpreting the terrain, yet somehow feels different, and I would say a bit harder. Maybe it's just because as pines accumulate snow you can't see quite as well through the forest areas. Or maybe it's because lower light levels in the winter mean things don't stand out quite as well. I'm not sure.
It was surely great to be out though. It's the first day of what felt like real winter--the right temps, enough inches of snow for decent cover, and the low sun angle. I saw absolutely zero animals, though I did cut fresh deer tracks in several places, and one fresh moose track. That was towards the end, as dusk was falling. If I had had another hour or so of light to work with, I would have been tempted to go back after finishing, and follow those tracks for a while, and see where they led to, and what was standing at the end.