On Sunday morning, Sept. 30th, it became apparent that winter is on its way. It was the first morning where it was still completely dark out when I got out of bed. I looked at the temperature outside of my apartment, and it read thirty degrees Fahrenheit. The plan for the day was to meet up with the team and car pool up to Mirror Lake, where we would begin our run/hike to the summit of Medicine Bow peak. As we drove through Centennial (approximately 20 miles from the trail head) we noticed a few trucks coming down from the mountain with at least 4â€ of snow covering them. This got our blood flowing with anticipation. It wasn't very long until I had my head out the window taking pictures of the snow; as we went up the pass, it just got deeper.
We arrived at our destination and bolted from the cars in all directions, like clowns in a circus. A few snowballs started to fly, and I jumped at the opportunity to make my first snow angel since I was last on snow in June. We then began discussing our options for the day. Thick haze brought our visibility to a minimum, and the air temperature was a chilly twenty-two degrees. None of us came prepared to hike to the exposed summit in these conditions.
We decided that instead of summiting Medicine Bow Peak, we would would continue driving over the pass, find a side road, and go for an hour of zone one running. At the beginning of our run, there was a gorgeous view of the snow-covered trees along a small creek. We didn't even make it forty feet when Christi (our head coach) decided to go off and break trail through the trees. The rest of us were eager to follow. It was amazing to be running in these conditions, and to be doing so in September! We had enjoyed a little dusting of snow the previous Monday on our home trails, but it was nothing compared to the four to six inches of fresh snow through which we were now parading.
The leaves are changing and beginning to fall, and the snow has already started to fly! The wind is blowing a cold air, and the sun is setting earlier everyday. It won’t be long, my friends, it won’t be long! Winter is almost here!
John Kirlin is a member of the University of Wyoming Nordic Ski Team