Saturday night was the cub scout's yearly winter campout at Alton Jones.
Rich, Alex, Kinter and I were the only ones to take the night hike. After a day of sledding in the bitter cold the cub scouts and the parents were happy enough to stay in the warmth of the lodge.
But the night was crisp and dark. Only Alex had a light -- a headlamp on his forehead, but it was plenty for a snowy forest. Especially since the crust of snow had smoothed all the rocks and hummocks and stumble spots into a gentler topography. This snow has lain for a week and is crisscrossed with tracks of deer, hare, fox, mink, squirrel and coyote.
We walked out onto the white expanse of Eisenhower Lake. Upon our cheeks the cold's sharp bite abated. Cocooned under half a foot of ice the lake still transmits a gentle warmth.
Then the snow began to fall. Perfect flakes that spiraled down through the beam of the lamp. And we stood there each infused in quiet peace and pleasure.