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Spring in Sierra Nevada 

    

Written by AnnaBeth

 

It’s now the beginning of Spring. In early April we returned to the Puerto de La Ragua in hopes of another snowshoeing day before it all melts.

This time the road was clear and we drove right up the mountain to the pass.

 


 

 

When we arrived at La Ragua Pass, groups of parents and young children were starting up the hill carrying brightly colored, round plastic toboggans. The snow was patchy but we looked around and found a trail through the forest, still covered with both packed and powder snow, that zigzaged up to the mountain top.



No one has passed here recently. The snow pack is from snow that fell in blobs from the trees.

  
Four hours up the trail and along a crest. Whew. We break to eat and rest. Then one hour straight down, off-trail between the trees in deep snow. Afterwards, my lungs will feel the expansion of exertion and fresh, clear air. That night I will sleep deeply. Olivier will barely sleep. He’ll say it’s because of the energy he feels from the snow.

 

 

I remember that white light is the reason I love snow.

 



View to the southwest.

 

 

Below, view to the north. If you can see the faint lines of white posts, those are windmills.

 

 

 A real nap. It felt so good.

 

 

On the way down.

 

  

We arrive back at La Ragua Pass just before dusk. The parking lot is empty except for three vehicles: a silver van, a small blue car, and our black truck. Two men appear from across the road carrying cross country skis over their shoulders. They could be father and son. Like us, they move slowly, not quite dragging themselves back to their van. A few minutes later, a young person hikes along the road with snowshoes and poles in hand, toward the little blue car at the far end of the lot. We all acknowledge each other with an “hola”.


The sun begins to set as Olivier and I finish packing up. We break out our rice and beans and plunk ourselves down onto a wooden bench at a nearby picnic table under the trees. The two men continue to slowly put their gear away. One of them sits motionless on a camping stool near his van, one boot off, one boot on. The young person’s blue car is still. Quiet reigns. We are all taking our time coming down from the magical journey of the day. I think to myself that all of us, this little mix of snow lovers, is truly privileged to have the ability – health, skills, means, flexibility to be off on a Friday – and the appreciation of nature that motivates us to come out at the end of winter when the snow is melting so that we can grab one last taste of this ephemeral white wonderland before it disappears until next year.

 

 

 

Comments  

0 #18 AnnaBeth 2017-04-28 15:37
Quoting Judith Elaine Halek:
Breathtaking, amazing and OMG... what an experience. The stories, photos and heartfelt sharing...I am there with you. Thanks for this magical experience. xoxo Judith

Yes, and maybe you and others will actually come join us eventually...
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0 #17 AnnaBeth 2017-04-28 15:35
Quoting Marijah:
Thx Anna Beth! What a beautiful experience in Nature. That part of life that is in some places uninterupted by Man. Morher Nature is truly a work of Art, thanks for capturing the beauty and serenity of the amazing mountains and snow. You are my Shero! Blessings

Oh, wow. I've never been a shero before! Thanks Marijah!
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+1 #16 Marijah 2017-04-27 15:06
Thx Anna Beth! What a beautiful experience in Nature. That part of life that is in some places uninterupted by Man. Morher Nature is truly a work of Art, thanks for capturing the beauty and serenity of the amazing mountains and snow. You are my Shero! Blessings
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+1 #15 Judith Elaine Halek 2017-04-27 02:56
Breathtaking, amazing and OMG... what an experience. The stories, photos and heartfelt sharing...I am there with you. Thanks for this magical experience. xoxo Judith
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0 #14 AnnaBeth 2017-04-25 23:32
Quoting Debbie Valentine:
Loving reading whispering-earth! Photos are always beautiful & reading is a pleasure!

Debbie, let us take you there one day...
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0 #13 AnnaBeth 2017-04-25 23:32
Quoting Inge Karson:
Nice and peaceful! Great pictures as usual. Thank you. :-)

You are welcome, Inge!!
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0 #12 AnnaBeth 2017-04-25 23:31
Quoting Cecilia de Almeida:
Inspiring text and breathtaking photos as always! Thanks AnnaBeth!

Thank you, Cici, As always, we love the rich work of writing these posts and we so appreciate your appreciation!
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0 #11 AnnaBeth 2017-04-25 23:29
Quoting julie williams:
so great you did this and can be part of this wonderful part of paradise! I love how the snow is "white light" to you Annabeth. I can't believe you actually hike for 4 hours! what a glorious trip. I could feel the combination of exhilaration and restful fatigue at the journey's end. love to you both

Maybe one day you'll come on a 4 hour hike with us!!
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0 #10 AnnaBeth 2017-04-25 22:38
Quoting Philip:
Wowwwww!
I'm getting a major vicarious high just seeing the pics and reading the story!
:-)
Thx!

Yes, literally high. Glad to share the feeling!
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0 #9 AB 2017-04-25 22:37
Quoting Chris Allison:
IT's really great to be able to experience a little bit of paradise through your travels. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. :-) :-) :-)


Chris, One interesting part to me is that I think we can find paradisical places pretty much everywhere - probably where you are too - but we don't always see them that way. There is certainly not-so-lovely terrain in Andalusia, as there are masterpieces of natural and human creation.
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0 #8 AB 2017-04-25 22:32
Hi Ninah, Good to hear. What internet browser are you using?
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+2 #7 Ninah 2017-04-25 17:56
Thanks for sharing your magical adventure with us. fyi, I had not problems at all with the images.
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+1 #6 Debbie Valentine 2017-04-25 15:53
Loving reading whispering-earth! Photos are always beautiful & reading is a pleasure!
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+1 #5 Inge Karson 2017-04-25 14:35
Nice and peaceful! Great pictures as usual. Thank you. :-)
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+1 #4 Cecilia de Almeida 2017-04-25 01:36
Inspiring text and breathtaking photos as always! Thanks AnnaBeth!
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