January 10, 2017.
Every Tuesday, I hike the butte. Every. Tuesday. That means it could be raining, snowing, blazing hot, choked with wildfire smoke or anything else. Today it was blanketed with plenty of fresh snow. Since I had the time, I decided to snowshoe from my house to the base of Pilot Butte, where I’d meet Amanda and from there we’d head to the top.
It was a cold and dark morning. Sunrise was at 7:30 am, and by then I was on my way to the trailhead. Snow muffled the usual sounds of the city. More people stayed home in weather like this, anyways. I tromped my way across the freshly fallen powder, the first on this route today. My snowshoes broke the silence.
When I reached the parking lot, it was a winter scene. All the benches and play area were covered in a white blanket. The dark trees stood starkly in contrast to the flat white below.
I lingered there, waiting for my friend to arrive. When she got there, she strapped on her snowshoes and we began the weekly tradition of hiking to the top of the butte.
It’s fascinating to visit the same place, over and over again. I learned that it’s never really the same place, if you keep your senses sharp. The vegetation changes. The terrain changes. The sounds and smells change. Every day is a new day. And today it was quite obvious that this was a very different experience. We enjoyed the extra challenge, the varied scenery and the solitude. Surely, not too many people were headed up here today!
We descended much faster than we snowshoed up. And at the play station, we did our pull-ups, push-ups, sloth hangs and other silly things. It was a joyous jaunt at the butte. No matter the weather, if it’s Tuesday morning…you’ll find me on Pilot Butte.