Yesterday evening, K and I made a big leap, and we made it to our sunset viewpoint for the first time in about 10 weeks! It's not a long walk but it's been beyond K's reach for a long time. We both savored the moment.
Our stroll was short because I wasn't sure if K's paw was hurting her. I covered up her paw and headed out with R for a snow bike ride. Wow, the view from Hug Hill awed me with a veil of winter clouds curtaining the mountains below a brilliant blue sky.
Our winter winds that relentlessly buffet us from the west have arrived. The Chinook wind becomes a constant companion when outdoors in the winter, muffling all other sounds and sapping my energy reserves. It's a flow of energy rocketing at us from the mountains, often whooshing so hard that I can't stay upright on my bike. I always wonder - Where is that energy coming from? If we're being infused with wind energy, someplace else must be in an energy trough...
After R's short ride with me, I went out on my snowbike to explore some of the most obscure trails that I know. To my utter surprise, as I struggled up a steep and snowy hillside, I spotted extremely fresh bear tracks. They were so fresh that the snow under the bear's heel was still loose, unlike old tracks that are frozen into place.
I followed the tracks for a short distance, getting a good idea of the general area that the bear was aiming for. However, I didn't follow the tracks very far because the bear didn't have a big head start. Now, I have another area to search for a den later this winter!
Here's an example of an old track. I ran across a preserved track from the bear who came through a trail in the area more than a week ago. Last week's bear was big compared to today's visitor. The hind paw track has my chemical handwarmer next to it for scale (the handwarmer is 3.25" long).