Picking up from yesterday‘s post…So snow.
Somehow, the kids decided to let Sarah and I sleep in until 9am Saturday morning (blackout curtains are straight from the Holy Spirit), but were thrilled to peek out the window when they did wake up and see the beautiful fantastic dream-come-true half-inch of snow.
I presented them with gifts of brand new gloves and their first ever pairs of long underwear (something that Noah was especially smitten with, telling everyone who would listen that he “was wearing LONG UNDERWEAR!!!”),
And then they put on all the layers that a child in Northern Alaska would wear and sprinted out to make snow angels,
I mean seriously the kid looks like he’s experiencing the thrill of an olympic slalom course but that hill was maybe five feet from top to bottom.
Ali decided to get brave and attempt the road that some teenagers were sledding down.
Instead of snow, it was coated in a layer of ice and was the cause of all of us slipping and falling throughout the weekend. She sat the sled on the road and gave herself a gentle push.
She traveled approximately ten feet before she screamed and dug her heels into the ice.
“I realized I didn’t know how to stop, so I stopped,” she explained.
We took many warm-up breaks indoors, them playing Minecraft and Sarah and I chilling on our phones. Snow is exhausting for everyone, after all. (Noah enjoyed getting to take his pants off and do his chilling in long underwear. Because LONG UNDERWEAR!!)
I finally convinced the kids to go on a walk with me, and we set off up the hill for a long walk to the Bald Rock Boardwalk. I’d seen it the day before in the clouds, and now I HAD to see it in the snow.
We made it a few hundred feet before the whining began.
It wasn’t even that cold.
But, thankfully for them, Mandy the Park Naturalist had mercy on their souls and came and picked us up to drive us to the boardwalk.
Miraculously, their energy returned and even doubled when they saw the boardwalk to run upon.
There were also perfect squares along the way, untouched snow just begging children to angel it.
Mandy was also an expert in lowering angel-makers into fresh snow. I was happy to let her do the heavy dropping.
Mandy further proved her value as Park Naturalist when she TOOK OFF HER GLOVES to help the children craft a snowman. Both kids were in awe at her inhuman bravery and ability to bear up under such extreme weather circumstances. They were in love.
She easily became their new favorite person. They told her all sorts of fascinating facts, such as,
“Mommy says I have a good immune system.”
“We have a cat named Fred that visits us.”
“I’m wearing LONG UNDERWEAR!!!!”
The walk to Bald Rock was magical,
But the real gift was the sight at the end. A sunbeam, just for us, lighting up the snow-free fields below.
The panoramic view was remarkable.
We had planned on leaving Saturday, but the ice was not going anywhere and the highway out of the park was still legally closed, so the kids got lucky and we committed to spending another night, giving them even more time with their prayed-for snow.
And even a snotsicle or two as a bonus.
We ate dinner at the lodge that night and watched the stunning sunset through its floor-to-ceiling windows. I managed to control myself and only run out of the restaurant once to get pictures. Mainly because I was a wuss and the wind was indescribably slicy.
But I’m pretty sure, wind or no, this is the most priceless deck in all of Alabama.
When we walked back across the icy street to our hotel room, the many colors of dusk had begun, and I managed to step one foot back outside to get a couple more layers of the beams over the mountains.
The snow day was everything we had set out to experience, but the attempt to leave the next day proved….slightly more complicated.
To be continued…