This is a picture that I took on a recent trip to the Snowy Mountains near Laramie, Wyoming. It was a snowy morning as we set off on our rented snowmobiles and gear. My husband was anxious to show me all the scenery where he had gone snowmobiling with friends for several years. We drove our snowmobiles on trails for over a hundred miles around Albany Lodge. The first trail we went on the groomer hadn’t been through yet so we were the first to ride through 2 feet of fresh powder for 25 miles. It was tree-lined for miles on end. At we reached close to the end of the trail at higher altitudes we came out of the protection of the trees into white out conditions. We drove for a little longer and decided it wasn’t wise to continue past a point where we could no longer see our trail ahead and there was about a 200 foot drop on our left. We turned around and headed back down our trail, still the only ones to have traveled our trail.
After lunch at Albany Lodge we headed out once again only on trails that kept in the protection of trees. We followed a trail that took us along Fox Creek most of the afternoon. As we were riding along the creek I was trying to imagine how that scene would be in the spring with the snow melting and the creek opening up and flowing. There is something magical about water running through snow-covered hills and signs of spring poking through. As we passed small cabins in the woods I imagined myself sitting inside next to a warm fire in the fireplace and a good book in hand and how relaxing it would be in the quiet of the woods.
When you get away from the business of life you begin to appreciate how quiet life was in past times. There wasn’t the constant sound of keyboards clicking, TV’s blaring 24/7, the ringtones of cell phones and ping sounds of text messages. In cars, people used to talk as they traveled because there wasn’t always good radio reception where they traveled. There certainly weren’t 8 track tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, MP3s and IPODs. It seems that people are afraid of quiet and where their thoughts and conversations may lead them if they take the time to be quiet.
My husband and I were talking about the sounds in the home that we remember growing up that our kids haven’t heard. My Dad used to stand in the bathroom every morning with his shaving gear, a cup with a special soap in the bottom and a brush that he would swirl and click against the side to make lather, and razor (not electric) and shave. I can remember my brothers standing on the toilet and Dad would put the lather on their chins so they could pretend they were shaving as well. The clicking of the wooden handle of the brush against the porcelain cup remains. The sound of the Minnesota Twins on the radio as my uncles sat and visited in the backyard at my Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard on a sunny afternoon. The sounds of the horseshoe game in the background. The sound of the grandfather clock chiming or the sound of potatoes being mashed in the kitchen for Sunday dinner. What will be the sounds remembered of this time and place? Many, I am sure.