For the last few weeks, I’ve been gazing up at Mt. Harrison while driving around Mini-Cassia. When I moved to Burley late in the spring, the snow was mostly gone, but lately you can see the white stuff fluffing up that big rock.
So about a week ago, one afternoon, I took my girlfriend up to Mt. Harrison so we could see snow for the first time. Coming from Florida all we know is 95 percent humidity and 360 days of summer. Those missing five days are our “cold snaps” when it’s in the 30’s. Haha!
So we wanted snow. Just to roll around in it like two children and get blessed — and hopefully not get eaten by wolves, killed and turned into White Walkers or get my Mazda stuck in the snow.
Oh, yeah, we took my city slicker Mazda 6, whose splash guard was nearly ripped off when I drove to City of Rocks a few months back. That thing is built for the tropics, having blasted through Floridian and Hawaiian highways the last nine years. So being in the snow was a first for all three of us.
On the road to the summit, we saw a huge, snowy field with hills and alpine trees. We pulled over and ran out there. The first step was the deepest, similar to that terrible Sheryl Crow song.
The snow looked soft and billowy but turned out to actually be crunchy pockets of embarrassment in the beginning. On more than one occasion, my girlfriend and I hit the ground harder than Kelsey Grammer.
But we picked ourselves up and kept moving like real Americans. We hiked up tiny hills overlooking the valley below. We found animal tracks. We grabbed fistfuls of snow and tossed them up to see them break apart as they showered down.
Something I was amazed by was how silent it is up there. Save for the crunching of snow as we walked into dense thickets or for our laughter when one of us took a spill, the entire valley was silent as if its ears were cupped by hands. No wooshing of cars on the interstate. No hammering on roofs. No phone rings or dings from an email. No talking. No Billy Joel. Just peace.
The next great thing about being up there is the smell of alpine. The way those trees turn the crisp air into something sweet and fresh is beautiful. It’s the real deal and not that gas station air freshener stuff masking my Taqueria El Mirador burrito from earlier.
Shouts out to El Mirador in Burley, home of the best burritos in the Magic Valley.
On the icy road to the top, we watched tiny cars shimmy to the left and the right, avoiding clumps of ice. Some would drive up and immediately turn around—maybe losing confidence on the way up. One car even got stuck in the snow for a bit.
When the sun was coming down we knew it was time we did the same. Driving at probably five miles an hour, I carefully dodged little icebergs on the road but I eventually caught one to the same splash guard that got knocked loose at City of Rocks.
It sounded like I was dragging a shovel all the way back to Burley. Back in town, people and dogs turned their heads to marvel at the noise. But it didn’t matter. Being in the snow for a few hours was worth it.