by Chad Robert Snyder

I realize we live at low elevation.

Snow here is about as rare as loose diamonds in a dustpan or an effortless marriage.

So why am I in hopes of seeing flakes this year?

Two reasons come to mind.

Number one, considering the global climate recently, I'd be less surprised by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart reemerging as a recorder virtuoso than I would be a snowflake landing on my head somewhere in town this winter.

Number two, you don't even need Santa's warp-speed sleigh to find a little spot high enough for the white stuff to pile up. You may want to have a 4-wheel drive, though.

And guess what? Like a large percentage of Curry County residents, I do.

So here's the plan. I'll wait for a cold day when a moisture-laden system is on the way in, tear off to parts unknown (somewhere to the east) and get ready for some extremity-numbing excitement.

I must confess, my first goal will be to find a slope suitable for snowboarding. Being spoiled in the past by gorgeous snow and the ultimate expression of man's unswerving laziness - the ski lift - it'll be hard for me to tote my board up a hill repeatedly, but I know it'll be worth it. The alternative, covering myself in a deer pelt and waiting for a cougar to give me a lift up to the den, is simply unacceptable.

There'll also be a gaggle of other things I'll be waiting to do when the time comes.

Owning a lightweight import pickup alone makes for snow-day fun. I tend to wait for 6 to 8 inches of snow to fall and then haul tail feathers up Forest Service roads. The sensation and breezy sound of big tires floating atop billowy snow is utterly intoxicating. Once the snow piles up to a foot or more, it's almost like snowboarding, although the cost of replacing your ride in this case could ensure your children will inherit more than just the national debt.

I should add here, too, anyone would be a fool to perform an activity such as this without informing others of where they are going. Being of said aforementioned neurologically impaired type, I've chattered my way down many a desolate, snow-choked road and am lucky to still have all my toes attached. Granted, I could drop a hot iron on several of them and not feel it, but they're still there.

This year, to guarantee my safe return, I'll be tying a string to the front door of the Pilot and peeling off slack as needed. The idea is, if I get lost or stuck, I'll simply pull on the string until some intrepid soul comes to help me. So, if you see a red piece of twine jerking violently in the coming months, please follow it immediately eastward and save my tail feathers.

In all seriousness (just for a second), though, as a friend of mine told me of the hills that hang over us, they're enticing ... but hungry. If you're not careful you could find yourself permanently entrapped by their wiry boughs. Nature is a snare which cannot and will not discern between its possible victims. And unlike marriage, you can't just chew off the captured limb and stagger away.