January 28, 2016
I smelled the familiar buttered rum coffee smell drifting my direction. Then, I heard the echo of women chatting from across the tree tops. It was ten degrees below zero, and yet those girls were back again, before dawn.
"An entire mountain range, and I'm the one they always wake up!" I grumbled to myself.
Suzy, Sally and Wendy filed around me like children, poking at my snowy coat. But, my hardened frown lifted, as I felt the tickle from their skins ascending uphill.
"Hahaha." I bellowed, shaking giant flakes from my blue spruce limbs.
Eaves dropping on their conversation, each girl divulged their usual stories, amid my unsuspecting high alpine ears. Wendy was right, "dwelling wouldn't have got them this far." Of course, I agreed with Suzy: "The Ski Tuner wasn't worth it. No romance."
Their giggles heightened, in time with the breaking daylight. Depending on who led, the tempo changed, but they were always tapping along. My old roots sprawled, wanting to dance to their playful glide.
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"I may be a wind swept, boney bugger at times, but deep down, I love my morning visitors," I thought.
The sun was high enough now that my neighbors became exposed — alone in solace. Proud to have visitors, I basked my broad, shimmering tundra, in the rising sun. "I know you nosy peaks can see me!" I shouted.
Embarrassed by the recession in my snowy tuft, my bald summit was protruding. I didn't think the girls should come all this way, especially now that Sally could be breaking up with her ski tuner.
Luckily, the girls knew better and regrouped at the frozen grassy scruff, along my chin. Sally had already removed her skins, eager to descend. There wasn't much I could do but to convince her it was too cold to be standing.
"Girls, I'm getting frost bite. I should keep moving." Sally explained to the girls.
"Woo hoo hoo!" I laughed, while Sally tickled my belly, descending too fast to catch.
"Right behind you!" Suzy shouted, struggling for a photograph of the landscape. I harnessed the wind and pushed aside the clouds to reveal the mountains to the west.
"A-w-e-s-o-m-e!" Suzy shouted, putting away her camera and beginning to descend.
"Wait, can I have a hug?" I asked, and Suzy tripped over a stump. She shimmied around, eventually working herself out of my snow's embrace and continued her way down, grinning all the way.
Leisurely stowing skins into her pack, Wendy was in her own world. I teased my crows to fly overhead.
"Oh my, the angels of fallen skiers! Coming girls!" She shouted, scurrying to catch up with the others down the mountain. As Wendy weaved herself in and out of trees, I waived a vigorous goodbye from my large, entangled branches.
Their pink cheeks glowing and eyes as wide as the glades, my morning visitors shouted up to me, "Thanks for the beautiful morning, Mount Baldy."
"You're welcome." I replied.
Taryn Brooke lives in Breckenridge.
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