CMC Ski Trail, Brainard Lake


Over the past four months, I have worked sporadically. Been pretty much a cross-country ski bum. Any chance I had to go mid-week skiing, I'd go! Many of the times I've been skiing has been with my friend Terry. He not only picked me up at Antelope Wells when I finished the CDT this past year, but he also is about to start his own CDT journey in a short while.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Starting on March 5th, I start an honest-to-goodness long term contract job. I am being a responsible citizen; complete with business casual attire of Dockers, button down shirt and my mandatory coffee mug. Who needs to watch Office Space? I'm about to live it. 🙂

What better way to end my ski bum ways than to one last mid-week ski tour?

I met Terry at our usual meeting spot. We loaded up his 4WD vehicle on a snowy day and drove up to the Brainard Lake trail head.

The day was simply magical. Fresh powder weighing the branches down. Untracked trails. The feeling that we were skiing in a wilderness cathedral. Quiet, beautiful and awe inspiring. Only the sound of our skis moving along, the slight wind rustling through the branches and the subtle sound of falling snow hitting the ground were heard. A mood was created that can best be described as reverent. I am not a religious person. But I can't help but feel in awe when I am in experiencing nature in this manner. I don't need to pray. I don't need to go to a formal place of worship. The creation around me is enough. Enjoying the natural wonder of the world is my form of worship.

And skiing in quiet, in awe and in reverence make me feel more spiritual and more connected than any sermon I could hear on Sunday.

Many people I know in Boulder pay much money to on retreats for new-age type religions. Give me that old time religion of being in nature. There is no ritual, no pretense and no formalities to follow. Just a a joy at being in the woods on a beautiful snowy day.

I don't just love the wilderness, I need it in my life. Be it for months or on a snowy day in February, the love of wilderness is where I am my most spiritual.

Let others have their retreats in Zen monastaries; or worship in a special building every weekend. I will take the wilderness. The raw and the sublime. The majestic and the subtle. The wilderness is my cathedral. And on snowy days on skis, I can't think of a better place to experience this spirituality.

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" –Douglas Adams

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