Bear River In The Snow 1

Lenny La Rue, IPA

Sacramento, United States

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OK, you can thank my guide for this series. As I’ve made clear emphatically, snow and I don’t get along. I leave it alone, it leaves me alone, and we’re both just fine that way. But when you are up in the hills and your guide tells you ’we’re going into the mountains to shoot the snow’, what’s a flatlander to do but go along? After all, I know better than to try this alone. And besides, I drive the 2.5 ton Great White Elephant (Ford E-150) and it hates snow even more than I do. I’d gotten a great ‘running start’ with macro shooting of water droplets and frost formations first thing in the morning. I had extra socks. I had my trusty Nikon D80, a ND2 (the darker of the Neutral Density screw-on filters), and some gloves that only had one hole in them. Besides, I had laid down the law before and said I wasn’t going anywhere near snow unless my conditions were met: it wasn’t snow*_ing_*; it wasn’t about to be snowing; the roads were all clear, and; she drove her all-terrain vehicle. Today, all the factors aligned against me and 11am came with me being driven north.

Cathy (friend/hillbilly/guide/photographer/motivator) finally did it, breaking me down in little chunks along the way and my confidence rose, tho not as quickly as the snow drifts. Highway 20 was completely clear and there was a forecast for one spectacular day far beyond any distance we’d be driving. I sorta got lulled into a false sense of immortality. To be honest, I wasn’t anywhere near as freaked out as I’ve been up until last weekend but it was also the only time I have been a passenger while driving around the snow. It’s a lot easier as a passenger, trust me.

I ventured out for my first trek in the Dreaded Cold Wet White Stuff on the opposite side of the road from the vantage point of this shot. But this shot looked like the best one to start with because I wasn’t deep in the snow yet. :-O

The depth varied from a thin icy film to some unfathomable depths I almost sunk to while trying to get The Shot at the edge of the Bear River. The term “edge” is rather dubious as it seems that snow doesn’t just sit on the ground following the terrain; sometimes it likes to stay all about the same height as the depth increases dramatically. Approaching that looks like the edge of a river is not advisable and I was fortunate to be as freaked as I was because I was holding on to some thick stalks of bushes as I suddenly dropped half my height into the vile tricky stuff. I never touches bottom because my arms held me up but I may have become the first black snowman if I hadn’t been hanging on first. My feet didn’t get wet but snow went up my jeans rather rapidly. One pull-up and I was able to free myself completely and beat a hasty retreat, lesson learned – for the moment, at least.

A while later, I followed Cathy onto snow that supported weight greater than hers but less than mine and I experienced that sickening sinking sensation again but that’s for later in the series.

Will I come out of the mountains dry? Will I come out with The Shot (or any good shots at all)? Will I come out as a true stiff after having died in the wild, wet wilderness? Stay tuned to find out!

Artwork Comments

  • Paul Gana
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  • Lois  Bryan
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  • margaretfraser
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  • Gramia97
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  • Rosemaree
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  • LindaR
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  • Kaimarie
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