I hope you are not getting tired of this Bull Run trip. As I write, I get to revisit the trip and remember how I felt at the time. Like when I see the photo below my memory is of how cold that water looked, its essence suspended between ice and thaw. Water flowed beneath a thin veneer of ice only to resurface as liquid a few feet downstream.
Bull Run meandered through the woods and field, sculpted by the landscape through which it cut. a crooked swath. The stream morphed from a small split which I could almost jump over . . .
. . . to a wider stream large enough to host a swimming hole chest high.
Though I would not test the water today, I remember several hot summer afternoons spent wading in the creek with my children, Jesse and Mary, our back packs were settled on the bank while we teased each other to step deeper into the water. The nature of the stream meant that the depth continually changed so we never knew at what moment one of us would step into a hole to become the first one wet.
These times were followed by lunch, during which we partially dried, then a long walk home around the hill and up our road.
Today I had to work hard to remember such heat and sunshine.
As I walked, at times I could see little else but ice, white field and driving snow.
It was about 1:30 in the afternoon when I took the photo below.
Blowing snow obliterated any thought of sun.
But before I cold even get into this field, there was barbed wire deal with.
Usually when I pass through this part of the fence there is someone around to help hold the wires off of me. It was almost impossible to cross this day, sending me into near panic as I was caught above and below with my glove pulled off into the snow. At that moment I pushed my naked hand into the ground in an effort to stay off the bottom wire. My hand promptly broke through a thin layer of ice into a mud filled cow hoof print. Yeuch! and "Br-r-r-r!" I quickly put my glove over a muddy hand, tried to relax and finally pulled free of the fence but only after tearing my gator which was being held hostage by an evil barb. Yes! I was glad to be rid of that fence.
The sun picked that time to momentarily appear through my snow-spotted camera lens . . .
Shadows stretched across the snow while flakes continued to fall. The lens would not open all the way after our tussle with the fence. I attacked the lens with a paper towel and intense blowing. The rest of the day it only opened manually. It is very hard to take pictures in a snow storm.
I turned and looked back on the hill from which I had come.
My home lies over that hill, across a field, through the woods and across another field.
Let's turn to see what was left of our trip. . . I'm tired, are you?
Suddenly my pocket was ringing, the noise breaking into my snowy scarf-muffled world. I dove my hand deep in and retrieved the cell phone where Jeff was asking if I would like him to come pick me up. "Oh yes! I did." I let him know that it would take me another twenty minutes to get to the road then I hung up and started walking.
Near the evil fence I visited a few moments the local furry non-wildlife. . .
Soon after our visit I walk out of the snowy field onto a snowy Bull Run Road.
. . . then looked to my left and, hooray! There was my ride!
Once I finished struggling to wrap the seat belt around my well-bundeled self, it was nice to be sitting down in the jeep where the wind did not blow and my feet did not slip.
Let's go home for some hot chocolate!