Looking from the top of the mountain, the sky was the color of easter eggs – blue and off in the distance, near Lake Champlain, the sunset was pastel pink and yellow.
The pine trees were frosted with snow that had fallen in the past few days. The snow sparkled in the late afternoon sunshine.
My two friends glided along ahead of my, pausing only to adjust the lifters on their ski bindings when we got to the steeper spots. I hung back, going at my own slower pace.
I like to hang back. I’m a slow hiker but it doesn’t bother me–and my friends know to just keep going. I’ll catch up.
I marveled at how much snow we still had at the top of the mountain. Heavy white frosting coated every branch of every tree. If you didn’t know that it was March you would have looked at a picture and thought it was January.
I took my time, one foot in front of the other, making sure to look at each view as I slid uphill.
As we neared the summit, where the chairlift ends, and where there is a warming hut, I thought about my first hike this winter, and how painful it had been. Every step felt like cement bricks were weighing my feet down. I huffed and puffed the entire way up.
I may still be slow, but I’ve come a long way.