Although the town of Kanab is a strange place for New Englanders, we had a great week there because we had an extraordinary experience every day. One day our plan was to head north to Dixie National Forest where we had found what looked like a great, in-the-forest hike -- a nice contrast to the vermilion cliffs, which are more bald than tree-covered.
It was 75 degrees in Kanab when we got in the car. Brose was wearing shorts, I was in a significantly reduced number of layers. We slathered on sunscreen and made sure we had broad-rimmed hats, sunglasses, and water, essential steps when hiking under the western sun.
About 20 miles north of Kanab we turned left onto route 14 and barely noticed the gradual elevation until we started to see more and more snow spots. Then we started noticing gathering clouds and that the snow spots were losing their spottiness. Eventually, it dawned on us that it was winter again and we were not going to be taking a hot and sunny hike. We were feeling a little dejected as we considered plan-b options. Yak-traks? Snowshoes? Can we find winter pants and down coats, not to mention socks, wool hats and gloves in this filthy truck??
Then we saw an enormous meadow crisscrossed with ski tracks. Is it possible that plan-b is to x-country ski? We chuckled at the prospect of skiing when an hour and half earlier we would have welcomed a swim. We parked the truck to see what we could find: x-country skis, check; ski boots, check; ski pants, check. I was sure this crazy idea would be nixed once we realized that our winter hats and gloves were buried in daypacks back at the hotel - but no, we had those too!
And amazingly, in a matter of minutes, we were gliding and giggling through the meadow on skis we had only used once before during our trip. We couldn’t get over the happy accident of our preparedness. We skied for hours through meadows and in and out of my favorite aspens while admiring the gorgeous, forested mountains that surrounded us.
One of my favorite days.