Yesterday afternoon, at our normal sunset hike time, the sky already loomed dusky as a storm moved into our area. The only brightness was a glimmer of color on the eastern horizon.
One black Labrador was obsessed with the prospect of elk in the area. We've worked so hard to train him never to chase wildlife that I confidently let him off-leash. With the scent of elk in the air so strong that even I could discern it, we practiced many stays and recalls. Whenever he found a high point with a view, he stopped and stared in the direction that the elk had gone most recently.
Overnight, the promised storm started dropping snow on our forest. A coyote passed a wildlife camera near our house, and he looked up in an odd way. I wonder why? My best guess is that I'd just turned on a light because K had, uncharacteristically, asked to be taken out. I bet this coyote watched us as I took the leashed K outside. It's because of the wildlife that we absolutely never take the dogs outside after dark without leashes.
As I pedaled up higher, K climbed atop Coyote Rock, the rock that a coyote mounted to survey his surroundings one evening recently. The rust-colored rock with a coating of fresh snow against the steelshot gray sky was beautiful in a stark way.
Although I wished for a bigger adventure than riding on the trails behind my house, it was peaceful and relatively safe!