As I sit in the lee of the window I’m reminded of a song from Disney’s “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” which our childhood VHS tape was so worn down from repetitive plays that the rewind gears screeched like a steam locomotive coming to an inevitable stop.
“And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down…” was running through my head while contemplating the symphony of snowflakes battering against the picture window.
I watched in quiet detachment as the window I had just dug out for the second time slowly started putting on its next winter coat of white.
Tomorrow was going to be another grueling morning.
It was official. This was the largest snowfall in a single month since Mammoth Mountain started keeping a tally. The town itself had received over twenty feet and it was still piling up. There was so much snow that during each break in the weather you could see dump trucks piled high with it being trucked out of town. A portable winter playground on the move to a less congested destination.
Even though we had invested a monumental snow shoveling effort on the last trip up just two weeks before, we at least could still see the cabin door in plain view when we started. This time it was not to be found. It took a solid twenty minutes of digging, then using my best Sherlock Holmes investigating techniques to trace the roofline back from the front of the cabin and stumble my way to the door lintel.
As I continued digging for another two hours I slipped back in time to thoughts of Howard Carter and other great archeologists and their herculean efforts to unearth remnants of past stories as I was digging and creating my own history. I only wish I had Britian’s strongman Belzoni, whose graffiti name I once battled my claustrophobia down an unending flight of stairs into the dark heart of the second pyramid of Giza to set my eyes upon.
That same claustrophobia was running through my conscious as I slid into the mudroom in an avalanche of snow. What if it kept snowing? What if there WAS a real avalanche? Did I even want to go in there?
Once inside it had the damp closeness of a tomb, not unlike our Egyptian heroes last destination. I took some breaths, brought in my bags, and realized I was in my very own igloo or in travel circles “ice hotel”. Granted at a quarter of the going price.
Could I even stay here?
Maybe I was better off retracing my steps to Tamarack and getting a cozy lodge room. The phone line was down (actually snapped in two I later discovered behind the cabin) and my cell was barely getting a text out, so the isolation would be absolute.
After two hours of digging out the door did I even want to consider flying in the face of reason and exhaustion to unearth a window just to allow some light into my buried wooden box? An hour later I had my answer. Light is everything.
I’ve now been here two days and the snow has started it’s dance with the land again, wrapping it in it’s gossamer threads like strands of white cotton candy on a carnival cone.
The snow steps I had carved into the drift like the Egyptians had chiseled their hieroglyphs were starting to fill back in like the grains of sand that their monuments spent centuries buried beneath.
It brought me back to Pooh Bear when he eats so much honey that he gets stuck in his own door. Would I be trapped in my buried igloo of wood after this latest deluge?
Hard to say at this point… but after all this exertion and calorie depravation I do believe some version of honey is in order. After all…“Bears love honey and I’m a pooh bear, so I do care, bears love honey and I’m a pooh bear, time for something sweet!”