January 14 is my birthday and I started the day out by arriving at the Carvers Gap parking in the Roan Highlands just after midnight. The temperature was near zero as I reclined the seat, wrapped myself with my -20 F sleeping bag, and pulled a wool hat over my head. I slept surprisingly well.
By 5:30 am, I was on Appalachian Trail on my way to Round Bald. This is a relatively short, easy hike, but the two-foot deep snow on the trail made going much more difficult than it should have. I don’t get very many opportunities to break out my snow shoes, but this time would have been one of them. After an hour or so of wandering through the spruce trees, I found a composition I was fairly happy with. This is only one of many versions of different perspective and light, but it’s something to share now.
So, what is the gift? The light, the snow, the image? Nahhh, just being there. The image is merely icing on the proverbial birthday cake.