A Walk into Nowhere

Walking through the Rockies on an uncharacteristically warm February day can be a bit challenging. After all, the path literally disappears into the all-consuming fog. This is neither rain, nor snow. Perhaps, it is better to say that you are walking through the cloud, though that mental image prompts something white and fluffy, not this endless Gray.

Upon closer inspection, hints of color do appear amidst the evergreens that look like they are under water. And, old tamarack needles from the previous season—no longer cheerful orange—sprinkle the dirty asphalt with dark-brown patches.

There is no wind, no cars, no birds. All that is heard is the creaking sound of the ski lift that cannot yet be seen. And when it is, its chairs ride upward—not above the clouds, since you are in a cloud—but rather into Nowhere.

Your immediate surroundings notwithstanding, there is nothing above, nothing behind, and nothing in front of you. You are inside this Nowhere.

Mid-Winter Rain Fog

This particular vantage point is often the same, yet the images are always different. This is the case even when the conditions repeat themselves. Take this rain fog, for instance (yes, rain and more rain, in the middle of Rocky Mountain winter!). The differences are minute, but detectable: the level of contrast and visibility, even the trees bending in the wind ever-so-slightly.  The result? A déjà vu with a twist.

Inadvertent Halloween

For the past few days, I've been living in a cloud!

The fog has been so thick that one could only see the closest trees out the window. Then—nothing. And hiking? Hiking felt like walking into nowhere. Eerie. With fog in front of us, and fog behind us, even the basset felt a little hesitant about it. I talked to him loudly, feeling a bit stupid, so as to avoid running into some unexpected wildlife or something more...supernatural. This was the perfect Halloween-season atmosphere, after all. 

Snow Fog (Retro Mobile)

It's been weeks since I've visited the Mountain.

One of the best (worst) aspects to doing so is that I never know what to expect.  There have been times when the town, where I live, was rainy and dreary, whereas higher altitudes were filled with brilliant sunshine, and vice versa. 

On this particular occasion, I stepped into heavy snowfall and Cosmic Grayness. 

Snow-burdened and desaturated evergreens appeared out of its depths, while the chairs on the ski lift, or rather, their barely discernible pixels, dissolved back into it. Not a mule deer or a raven were to be seen or heard in these seemingly lifeless woods.

Postscriptum: With snow overflowing my boots, I slightly underestimated the knee-deep hiking conditions halfway up to the invisible Heavens, making me work as my dog's personal bulldozer.