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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We're lucky and we know it

K and I rolled out into the rising sun, me on my snowbike and K romping along side me. I need to pinch myself – I cannot believe that we have our daily ritual back. I fully realize how lucky we are.
We headed up to Hug Hill where we enjoyed a brief lull in the wind but no mountain views. Storm clouds have shrouded the peaks for days.
As we rolled downward from our local peak, I spotted some pine drops that looked like beacons in the otherwise white, blue, and pine green world. These still stand tall despite the onslaught of wind and snow.
Close-up, their beacon-like quality becomes more obvious. Red is a rare color in wintertime!
We then slogged through windpacked snow onto a favorite trail. The Runner and R had trotted along the trail a little earlier, and then a bobcat had walked in the Runner’s shoe prints. I wish that I had video of the little bobcat carefully placing two paws into each of the running shoe tracks and then leaping to the next shoe track. It must have been exhausting but I guess that he found it easier than breaking through the windpacked snow himself.

The bobcat stood stationary in one running shoe track, leaving imprints of all four paws.
Before I knew it, I needed to take K home. She seems so strong and exuberant that it’s tempting to take her for longer rides than I should. I resisted temptation today.

Then, I headed out for a solo snow bike ride, planning to try to ride a route that is often impassable in the winter. I started on the easy part of the ride, up on a ridge where the relentlessly rushing wind has blown the snow eastward.
After finishing the easy part, I started up a hill where that same relentless wind whooshes straight down the trail, depositing blown snow in bottomless piles with an almost unbreakable crust on top. At the start of that hill, I was optimistic because a forest service ATV had packed a trail yesterday. However, soon, I reached the end of the wide wheel tracks and became mired down in slabs of deep snow.
It turned into a much longer trek than planned as soon as I hit the snow drifts. I pushed on and eventually made it home, albeit utterly depleted of every iota of energy. I won't try that route again soon!

Despite my fatigue, the Duo still needed an evening hike. I let them burn off energy while I was relatively lazy, practicing sit-stays and then long recalls.
We saw the majestic vision of the last burst of color fading from the sky.
Now, I can rest...


  1. The bobcat prints are so interesting! I'm so thrilled that K is getting back in the routine. Bless her!

    Thanks for visiting. I'm so glad the video worked for you. Zoe is such a comedian. She can run circles around Roxie and Xander, and loves hiding under the bushes. :)

  2. Mom and me just luvs it here. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  3. The clouds look painted in that last photo! That is stunning!

    I love how happy you and K both look, too! File that one under "joy".

    Yes, Morgan did walk rather like a duck with the boots on! By the end, though, she was getting the hang of it pretty well. I would pay money to see the handstand! How do you manage to not just burst into hysterical laughter?

  4. You cewtainly live in a majestic and magnificent place and I'm so glad that K can wun wif you again.
    You have a most wondewful life!!!
    Thank you fow the nice wowds about my post. I did it wif gweat wespect
    smoochie kisses

  5. The second picture is wonderful
    Benny & Lily

  6. Luck? Sure. Blessings? Yep. But, don't forget a boatload of hard work.

    Tom once saw a very young bobcat in our canyon, but he had no camera with him. We were so bummed because the cat just sat there and watched Tom watching it for the longest time.

  7. Hurray for daily rituals!!! We are very happy for you both!

    Your pal, Pip

  8. It is so wonderful to see that you and K are back into the swing of things!
    Just reading about all of your adventures exhaust me! You deserve a good rest!
    (no passing out though:)

  9. I absolutely love the 2nd peekture! I can see the happiness flowing~~~ Hehehe.
    & I love how the bobcat walked in the shoe prints, very cool.


  10. Look at that smile on your face!! K sees it, too!

  11. I don't know how you do it. You actually make me enjoy it. SNOW. It always looks so inviting in your photos. Then I step outside my door onto the dirty city streets. *sigh* Its just cold and ugly out there.

  12. Kudos to you for 2 hikes a day - I'm sure my girls would love that kind of lifestyle. Love the pic of you and K - great connection!

  13. I've been following your journey since just before trouble with K's foot. I've been reading back over the last few days, recapping your journey as the trouble with her foot/toe unfolded. I have been in a dilemma about one of my dogs and the question that stuck out, reading your story again, was what does my dog want, really hit home and gave me the answer I already knew.

    Your story has helped me so much. Thank you for sharing.

  14. We'd thought bobcats were in the 30- 40 lb range, but those pawprints look so small inside just one of the Runner's footprints. Maybe they're smaller than we thought.

    Looks like the knot on K's paw is still there and not a problem. Terrific!

    Jed & Abby

  15. Hehehe...when we had our snow I had to walk in feet print paths too likes da bobcat.
    I don't likes it when my routine gets messed up so I knows K was glad to get backs to her normal schedule and routine.
    Dat last pikture is breathtakin'!

    ps:yep, my mum took da fotos of My Girl

  16. so wonderful to see you and K together again!! she looks fabulous! love the pic of the two of you!
    and the little cat interesting...

  17. Great photos of the pine drops and your bike!

  18. The feeling of such an amazing accomplishment is emanating from your words. These months of rehabilitation and hope are nothing but a deserve a glass of champagne or something...make this event a memorable you can look back on as a positive not a negative....Cheers!

  19. oh my, those red plant buds were so pretty!

    your bike set up looks so great. are those some sort of warmers on the handlebars?

    i tried riding here last weekend with Mr. WD. I took out the cross bike and dressed in thermal layers. i was still freezing in the jura mountains. i start out nice and warm but then when i get to the mountains i'm frozen. i really hate being that cold. so i'll probalby not ride til spring. :( that's ok. i'm having fun hiking and doing yoga now...

    i don't how you can ride in that snow tho. that's really tough stuff. huge bows of awe over here...

  20. I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of pictures of K running full out. Even though I'm a relative newcomer to your blog, I've read enough to know that you have been through a real struggle this past year.

    I wonder if bobcats are as fussy as domestic cats about getting their feet in the snow. It sure looks like it. The little feral cat I have is always shaking her feet, when she walks through the snow.

    I have never heard of pine drops. I'll have to do some research, to see what the flower looks like.

  21. 24 Paws of Love: I'm so glad that my story helped you. It can be so heart-wrenching to make decisions for our beloved dogs.

    Jed and Abby: A female bobcat is about 15-20 lbs while a male is 20-30 lbs. They have very small feet for their body size (at least that's my impression) so they'll take advantage of any kind of track in the snow to make it easier to walk. They seem to love my snowbike tracks!

    Wild Dingo: Those things on my handlebars are something called "Pogies". They're huge nylon and synthetic fill mittens that cover my grips, brakes, shifters, and hands! They have made a world of difference to my winter riding. I used to suffer from cold hands almost every ride. Now, they're often sweaty! I also have found a solution for the toes... but it sounds like you've decided on a different routine for the winter so I won't bore you with it. It took me more than a decade to learn all the tricks that make it possible for me to ride in super cold weather and not be cold.

  22. And at the end of little hike and your all warm and cozym and maybe even nap- what wonderful memories to dream about as you take a little snooze. All the gorgeous scenes that you see- too incredible


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