Atlas Adventure Team Member Matt Novak
I’ll admit it here: I’ve never liked winter (GASP!). For my adult-life anyways, I’ve never liked winter. Without the proper gear and a serious physical bend for S.A.D. It just never struck me as a season that was particularly cheery. Here’s the great irony in all of this: I realized that my anti-winter attitude was more about not being able to get outside than anything else, so once I discovered snowshoeing, I actually, dare I say it, might love winter. Still not seeing the irony? Well 2015/2016 happens to be an unusually strong el Nino year and if you live in the North-East like me then you’ll know we’ve had about as much snow as they typically get in Georgia. See it now? The winter fairies are laughing at me… no snow. The thing I’ve waited for for months now.
All that changed last week as Winter Storm Jonas came barreling up the Eastern Seaboard and wouldn’t you know it, the Hudson Valley was about to get HAMMERED. I messaged my friend Lawrence and gave very clear, short directions. “BIG SNOW. HIKING FROM MY HOUSE FRI @ 3P. BRING SNOWSHOES.” He listened well enough and rolled up to my house at 2:30 with dog in tow and some grass fed beef for the fire.
We hiked out, shoes on our packs because there wasn’t a flake on the ground yet but the atmosphere felt dense with promise. And it was there, that we plopped down on the outskirts of a half frozen reservoir and began the wait.
Forecast called for first flakes at 11PM with high winds, big drifts and snowfall rating about an inch an hour. and that’s what I kept repeating to myself as I sat by the fire and waited.
11PM – Nothing
12PM – Nothing
Finally I slept; dejected; knowing there would be no snow. It must’ve been one of those typical nor’easters: easily drifting out to see as they woudl dump two feet of snow.
But when I woke up, not true. Winter wonderland had come. Enough to make fresh track for days and make this guy pretty stoked to have decided he didn’t hate Winter after all.