We are alone on the Under Thunder Trail, skiing through very tame woods. The evenly spaced trees remind me of Sweden and I wonder if the ground here will whiten with blooming anemone flowers in Spring. There is no thunder, just soft snow falling.
The trail sees heavy use by dog walkers and their tracks leave no hope for wild animal sign. This is raven country. One lets Aki chase him.
A mile in we stumble into a scene written by Fellini. A party colored poodle leads twelve large dogs towards us. Some of the dogs are tethered to beautiful young women. Thin web fastening strips decorate the dogs’ muzzles while their attendants wear Carhart canvas overalls and hard hat liners. One of the women flings blood colored dog treats toward the pack while chanting a nonsense word. We ski on, never to see them or anyone else again.
The tracks end where the trail offers a gentle descent to the base of a granite cliff. Aki dives forward, sinking completely under deep snow and I follow into a pocket wilderness where no one disturbs the snow shoe hare that appears to own the place. Thin stalactites of ice cross lines carved by a glacier into rock. Here it is all deep snow and rabbit tracks.