Winter’s Last Gasp

I know some (possibly most) of you are still wrestling with the last gasps of winter, but here in the ATL we are headed full-bore into spring. And thank god for it, my fragile tropical soul was just about done. And I say that as someone who loves the winter. But when you spend your life at or above 80 degrees farenheit, you lose your taste for 40 degrees and raining about a month in.

I did have one absolute blowout winter adventure this year though, so I’m revisiting it quickly before I jump into spring with both feet. To wit: Niagara Falls!


I put that image on my facebook page with the caption, “It’s nice to be reminded sometimes, that there’s something bigger than you at work.” And really, it felt that way. I was on a twelve-day road job with my friend Phillip – 3,237 road miles, 14 cities in twelve days, in case you long for the glamour of business travel – and we had one day off, in Toronto, which gave us an excuse to drive over to Niagara and admire the Falls. (Because we hadn’t spent enough time in the car already).

We were there just before the Falls essentially froze over, and the next day found us racing towards Washington DC in an attempt to outrun Storm Juno, but that day the sun was out, the wind was still, and the Falls were hypnotically, heartstoppingly beautiful. There is nothing mystical or ethereal about Niagara. Instead, I was mesmerized by the sheer power and force of the water, marveling at the literal drainage of a continent. Nothing could have prepared me for the speed and strength of the current, and I completely understood why these signs were in place, although I would think they were the *least* necessary danger signs in the history of humanity:


I also wasn’t prepared for the constant mist that the falls churns up. I bet on a summer day it’s refreshing and sprarkling. On a 22 degree January day, not so much – it condensed on our jackets and faces and instantly froze into a coating not unlike a candy shell, as if we were crunchy treats for giants – and we had to keep our cameras and phones tucked away lest they become phonecicles.

I have zero selfie game, but with one of the wonders of the world behind you, it’s hard not to come away with at something at least passable:


And once we were thoroughly iced over, we retreated to the Niagra Falls Restaurant for a glass of ice wine, which seemed appropriate. It was the first time I’d tried it and it was amazingly sticky tasting, like a brandy.


With all the bits of spring around me now it’s almost hard to remember how cold we were, and how we spent the next twelve hours nervously watching the weather as we scampered southward, shadowing the salt trucks and knowing we had to make DC before we slept because we’d be snowed in if we didn’t (we did, in fact, make it). Looking at these pictures brings back that shiver, though – that moment when you see a form of nature that would sweep you away like a twig, and you realize that there is, in fact, something bigger than you at work…

Photo of the Week: Friday Extra


Extra photo this week, which will probably never happen again because I am so very lazy – river birches in Great Falls, Montana, last week. I love the white bark against the yellow leaves – we were lucky and caught the end of the fall color up there, then got to see it again in the Carolinas this week.

These shallow falls are supposed to be where Lewis and Clark crossed the Missouri River on their epic journey. It’s really quite beautiful and the falls are spring-fed, so the water’s not nearly as cold as you would think, and amazingly clear.