It's in the books--already today the temps have broken through the 60 degree mark for the first time this year. Over at UW, there is a minor ruckus going on with students wanting to take off all their clothes and lay out in the sun in a discrete fashion, while the university administration is adamant that they must keep their masks on. Some students are slathering themselves in pig grease and daring the campus police to do anything about it. Local journalists are of course having a field day with all this.
The plan had been to make my orienteering debut for 2021 today, and it was a good plan.
Some might object that I had already done some orienteering back in early January, but this presumes that there are people who 1) actually remember that fact and 2) care. Anyway, I'm not counting that, and consider what I did back then as more a "bonus" extension of the 2020 O' year.
So after going up to Happy Jack at mid-afternoon for a quick ski in the slush, I pointed my truck east towards Remarkable Flats. At about the point on the Happy Jack road where you can look over off to the side and see the Yellow Pine Campground, I was noticing a lot of snow on the prairie off to the other side of the road, and I had really expected less. But by a few hundred more meters down the road, as I was approaching the Telegraph Rd turn, I would be able to look ahead and see the Bisbee Hill area and parts of Twin Boulders and surely those lower prairie expanses would show many large areas of bare ground and very thin snow coverage.
Instead, it looked more like something straight out of Greenland. There was a lot of snow. Everywhere. Well, this last blizzard had been an upslope storm out of the east, and Cheyenne had been pretty much the epicenter of the deepest snow totals, so it made some kind of sense.
But I kept on going, since Remarkable Flats is a little lower still and of all our mapped areas, the one most prone to melt out first.
Well, it hadn't (melted out), as was clear when I came to the parking spot. There was a lot of snow. Everywhere. So I thought about it for about 2 seconds, and canned plans for orienteering, and just went out for a looping, somewhat random run in the snow, looking for the thinnest snow coverage and occasional windswept bare patches.
The snow was melting quite fast, even in the late afternoon. So I have reason to think that by Sunday conditions will have markedly improved for running, and I will plan to try again then.