The Coldest I Ever Was

It was the second time I dumped the snowmobile that I truly realized just how frozen you can feel, lying in the snow 10,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevadas near Tahoe City, Calif. I would go on to flip the machine again (As my son, Nicholas, will be glad to tell you in detail, that makes three times I overturned on the snowmobile) before my journey up to the top of Mount Watson was complete during a spring vacation in 2004. I've been in lower temps, but never felt colder or more glorious. The snow fell lightly just as we began our journey; the landscape and sky were white except for the vivid hunter greens and red-browns of the trees as we flew by them at 35 miles per hour. In the middle of summer, I get out a photo of myself and the snowmobile and dream of falling off of it a fourth time.

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