Winter Walking

Field Report No. 20151223NM

Topic: Cold walk, hot coffee
Conditions: Chilly, stunning

COMMENTS: We park on the outskirts of the west central neighborhood and slide down the steep slope to the Centennial Trail. It’s my husband’s birthday and we’re determined to squeeze in a walk before the sun abandons us at 3:58. The trail has been surprisingly well-loved despite the cold temperatures, and a narrow footpath winds through the snowdrifts victoriously. Braver souls have already been running and cross-country skiing while we enjoyed donuts and games indoors. We traipse along, eyes fixed on the glorious scene below. Firs, pines, and spruces stand tall like royalty, freshly adorned in their robes of white while the river jogs humbly beside them, never stopping to acknowledge our praise. The Pacific Northwest is at its finest.

The temperature plummets with the setting sun and we pull up our hoods to ward off the cold. The longest night of the year is upon us. Instinctively we turn back toward the car, and head east. Once Indaba Coffee has been mentioned, it’s hard to go anywhere else.

We stomp the snow from our boots and a lemon vanilla latte thaws me from the inside out. This beloved coffee shop has served us well through a variety of seasons. But as we look around at the students cramming for finals and the father with his daughter nearby, today we’re grateful for the simplicity of a walk and a delicious cup of coffeejust the two of us.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Bundle up and enjoy the wintry scenery. This activity doesn’t require any fancy equipment; just a pair of boots and a warm coat will do. It is common to meet a friend for a beverage, so simply tack on an active walkabout beforehand. Pick the warmup spot in your area and work backward from there to choose a nearby trail.

-Nina Moore



photo: Phil Moore