Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pittsburgh Wilderness

*** Saturday: Snow. Highs in the mid 20s. Total snow accumulation 10 to 14 inches. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. ***

This forecast was the last thing I read before going to bed Friday night and I could hardly sleep. My alarm sounded at 6:30 Saturday morning and, with sleep still in my eyes, I hobbled over to the window and parted the blinds. Thick and white, it was like a heavy layer of fondant covering the city. I roused my sleeping wife, gathered my gear and out we went.

I know I'm stating the obvious, but this much snow - close to 20 inches - really transforms a place. Especially a place like Pittsburgh, where it's far enough north to get really hammered once every few winters, but not so far north that the city is fully prepared to handle it. What this kind of snow does is take the relative clockwork of our urban lives and gum it up. This force majeure takes our plans for the day and scraps them. It leaves us in a world controlled by things that are not us, much like the deep forest or high mountain.

So out Les and I stepped, bound for the wooded park we frequent whenever we've had too much of the indoors.

Photo Essay: Click on the above image to begin a photo essay on our trip. The right and left arrow keys can be used to navigate among the images.


  1. I like the photo essay. I especially appreciated what I can only assume were Survivorman-esque techniques to capture the two of you entering and leaving the park.

  2. Don't you miss the East? :)

    If by Survivorman-esque you mean I caught three snow-lizards with deadfall traps, allowed their bodies to freeze and then tied their tails together for a make-shift tripod, then yes, my methods were Survivorman-esque.

  3. No, I don't miss the East.... My husband can speak for himself, but no matter what he says, I know he likes it HERE.... you should too. There are lots of good places to hike and be all nature-y. You would have lots of fun things to post on your tree hugger blog. By the way, the low here today was 60 and we spent the day planting herbs and peppers and wildflowers in our garden. What did you do today?
    Also, see my comment of your comment on my blog.

  4. Hmmmm. So you don't miss it here? I believe you are lying. I know sunshine and warmth are nice and all, but they really deprive you of the more subtle enjoyment that comes with cold and clouds. :)

  5. Enjoyed the photo essay, very nice with the navigation and pretty photos. The snow is still there, or is it gone by now?

  6. Thanks Hendrik! I really like what Lightbox can do for the presentation of pictures, but it can mess with other parts of a blog, like the "Followers" widget. Oh well, compromises.

    Unfortunately the snow is almost all gone,as we've had some warm weather. It looks like you still have most of you're and I'm quite jealous.

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