Heavy snow blowing from the east-northeast (an unusual direction) has created unprecedented (in my experience) drifts, sculptures, meringue surprises. Snow flowing over the hood of the Rhino is water wave-like, reminding me of nothing so much as water-skiing. The whole sense of plowing through thigh-deep frothy snow more like boating in high seas than anything I can relate to a land-based experience.
Our February 1 ramble took us up the West Fork Trail from Durbin to the Little River Road and then to Middle Mountain Road (FR 14). We passed into the Laurel Fork South Wilderness, and even skirted the edge of the Laurel Fork North Wilderness, until we made a right turn onto FR 422 toward Glady, Route 33, and Elkins. We passed only one Forest Service truck the entire three-hour tour. (No fur coats or jewels required.)
It's cold here at Brightside, indeed it is. Hovering around zero for most of the month. It's the kind of cold that actually feels hot against bare skin. Just a few moments in these temperatures and you feel as if your flesh is aflame. Tea, I have found, is my very best solace in these worst winter times. Indeed, all of my blends are designed for me. And I am often cold, despite the woolens, the ski pants, the layers of socks and shirts as I stand in the production kitchen chopping and mixing herbs, filling teabags. My favorite winter blend, Warm All Over, which I designed last January, never fails to warm me, body and soul.