Mountain lifestyle: keeping it warm

Eleven degrees at the caboose this morning, but 55 indoors. That's chilly enough to wake you up, but not so bad that it's uncomfortable. The fire cycle is part of winter life in the mountains, especially when it's basically your only source of heat. Of course in the evening we build up a blaze and boost the temperature a good 30 degrees to the mid-70's by bedtime. Then you hunker down for the night.  I'm internally clocked to wake up at 5 am to take advantage of the embers. I toss a few pieces of kindling in the stove, a log and let it go. Then it's writing or reading time till sunrise – I'm reading the kids book, "My Side of the Mountain" right now. At sunrise, another log on the fire to make sure the caboose is toasty for Elaine, and then off for a ride or, like today, dryland sessions with sprints and lunges and tucks. When it's cold out, and the snow is fresh and sparkling in the high altitude sun, it's easy to motivate to do this work. Stella comes along and explores the woods, looking curiously at me while I'm doing lunges. Get home and the fire has done it's work…it was 66 degrees this morning. I love it when I come home and see the smoke coming out of the chimney. There is something idealic and wonderful about it. Come inside, it's good morning to Elaine, some tea and packing for a day of tuning skis. On days off I forgo the dryland and we just head into the backcountry, or to the resort…into the mountains somehow, for a day of playing together. A simple life, never letting the temperature in the caboose drop below 40.

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