We’d been able to make it out in the Jeep until this time, but last night it snowed and rained and snowed some more. This morning the river was too high to safely pass in a vehicle, so Loba and I had a ice water wading adventure! She went up the mountain with the laptop because there’s only one river crossing that way, then a mile up up up. I went out the long way because that’s where the vehicle was… I like the long way, there’s far more plants going in that direction, since the trail is along the riverbank which stays green lush nearly year round. There’s seven river crossings going that way, but if you take a steep shortcut, you can get it down to three, which is what I did. Along the way, I gathered a few brilliant green bunches of fresh Nettle tops for dinner, some Dandelion greens to much on along with a handful of deep, dark purple Juniper berries all wrinkled and sweet from the frosts.
The walk was muddy and wet, and seeing as I was wearing rafting sandals (can’t cross the river in boots LOL) my feet were a strange shade of purple and very cold. I didn’t mind though, because my ears were warm thanks to my lovely blue wool hat and I was surrounded by baby green things. I love to try and recognize every little plant as well as mature and dead or dormant plants, fun games that prove useful when searching for out of season plant. And it’s very pleasing to me, that after three and a half years here, I can recognize nearly every single brown and aged Winter plant skeleton on a species level. That amount of intimacy is important to me, to know my beloveds in every form and time, I love realizing that I can find a favorite Bee Balm plant under four feet of snow in the middle of the night! Strange but true.
Nevertheless, when I got to the river crossing all bundled up in fleece and wool it took me a moment to work up the courage to strip, grab my stuff and run through the icy water. Lucky for me, it was shallow enough I could still walk instead of having to swim!
Today the cafe is closed, so we’re in the village using random free wifi still figuring out our internet problems. Unfortunately the problem is unfixable, so we’re resorting to switching to a new company (which requires a new dish and installation, good luck to us getting the satellite guy in through waist high water, heh).
Tomorrow I’ll be in the big city, and I hope to get a new herb post up then, if I can manage to get down the mountain and across the river back home by seven or so. And if you think crossing a river three times in the morning is an adventure, well climbing down an icy mountain in the dark and crossing the river just once is three times as much fun!
In the meantime I can tell you the best cure for being chilled to the bone and that’s a mug of hot, strong ginger tea with cream and a shot of rum while sitting very near a roaring wood stove and watching the snow fall through the windows. You can bet that’s what I’ll be doing tonight.