Boulder Lake Back Country: A Winter Solstice Day

BackcountryA few weeks ago, I experienced a Winter Solstice day. And no it didn’t involve time travel; rather it reminded me of Rosamunde Pilcher‘s wonderful novel Winter Solstice, in which the setting became a character.

As in Ms. Pilcher’s Scotland, snow dominated our day, falling in big, fluffy flakes. Our setting–the logging roads and two-tracks off Boulder Lake Road near McCall, Idaho–took my husband Keith and me through deep woods and up ridges to one of our favorite back-county skiing areas. A snowshoe hare hid behind a log, its black eyes staring at us, and we made lazy turns through about six inches of untracked snow.

But it was what happened when we pulled into the parking area that really evoked Ms. Pilcher’s novel. As we removed our skis from the bed of our truck, a sleigh pulled by the shaggiest horses I’ve ever seen glided down the street. It was such a surprise–like going back in time, complete with a duster-wearing sleigh driver, and certainly something Ms. Pilcher would have included in her novel. Our setting had become a character–I could almost hear the snow falling, the mountains breathing, and the trees shifting in our direction.

And it ended back in McCall with Keith’s delicious crock-pot dinner of Southwestern chicken over rice–the perfect compliment to a “Winter Solstice” day. I think Ms. Pilcher would have approved.