I looked out the window of my office as snow piled up rapidly. I didn't have my snow tires on yet, I realized. I still had a weight plate on my rood holding down a patch repair. My denial about the approach of winter was about to end.
Summer here seemed really short, not for the usual reasons of being busy with fires, because it was very slow in that regard. A rainy spring charged into a rainy, cool summer. Then it snowed early, and rainy days were interspersed with brief sunny intervals. Now they are making snow on the ski hill, and the tire shops are crowded with procrastinators. It's undeniable that summer, and probably fall, are pretty much over.
This time of year, I tend to think about what I didn't get done. My kayak reproaches me from the corner of the garage. "You didn't take me out very much!" it seems to be saying. My hiking shoes seem to glare from the shelf. "Once again, no trip to Heavens Peak Lookout!" they might be thinking; my backpack agrees. Even my garden looks sad; I should have bought more trees this year, but waited till the last day the nursery was open; of course none of the ones I wanted were left.
This is silly, obviously; a sort of delayed FOMO. Sometimes I want to do it all: see all the countries, hike all the trails, and just do more. That's impossible, so I look back at my pictures. This summer I hiked to many fire lookouts, and stayed overnight in three of them. I spent time with friends on the trail. I saw some new places. And, with a demanding job, that's pretty good.
For now I am grudgingly accepting winter's arrival. There will be snowboarding and snowshoeing to do. The mountains look beautiful with white tops. And now there is time to think of all the trails and all the trips that wait in the future. Get ready, elusive fire lookout! I'm coming for you.