As the snow gently falls outside and the world nearby is covered in white, it is a good time to reflect on the year that has been and the new year that lies ahead. Here at the Aspens Lodge, each season brings its own special kind of beauty–and a beautiful year it has been–blessed as we were with a bit more moisture in 2022 than in the previous couple of years. Lush shades of green in the pastures and on the hillsides lasted longer into the summer than usual. Wildflowers bloomed in abundance. Fall colors blazed brilliantly, if but for a short time, and now winter has descended with a cloak of white providing snow, aplenty, for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling. What ever the season, there is a reason to be outside fully immersed in the beauty that surrounds.
I awoke this morning to a world immersed in white. The snow that began falling yesterday was still gently coming down and blanketing the aspen, spruce—indeed, the entire landscape, with a soft winter coat of white. As I watched the snow fall and contemplated all of the snow shoveling that lay ahead, I checked the weather report which called for clouds clearing in the afternoon. Since blue skies, sunshine, and freshly fallen snow provide the ideal condition for cross-country skiing, I resolved to expeditiously attend to my chores. I didn’t want to let the “necessary” stand in the way of the “transcendental.” Those who have experienced breaking a fresh trail in a forest adorned with new snow will understand what I mean: Beyond the solitude, stillness, and beauty, cross-country skiing on such a day provides an immersive outdoor experience that transcends the ordinary and provides a glimpse into perfection. It transports one into an otherworldly dimension where there is genuine peace and harmony. It provides a welcome and needed antidote for the uncertainty, unsettledness, tension, harshness, and coarseness all too prevalent in our everyday experience. In the quiet forest, there is calm refreshment and nourishment. Come. Be refreshed.
Winter is a quiet time here at the Aspens Lodge, but is a time with incredible beauty. Abundant options exist for enjoying the great outdoors. Nearby cross-country ski or snowshoeing options include the Buford-New Castle Road, the road to South Fork Campground, and the delightful (and often neatly groomed) trail into the yurt at Marvine Campground. A multitude of snowmobiling options are available in the immediate area. Near the end of the winter maintenance on the Buford-New Castle Road, we have provided, on our property, a courtesy parking area for snowmobilers. Old-fashioned winter fun can be had with sledding, snowball fights, and building snowmen. And, of course, if curling up with a good book in front of the fireplace is your preferred choice, that is an option too.