We are six inches into a ten inch snow storm. There are no hard lines on Chicken Ridge. It’s all snow and softness. With the car trapped in the carport I strap on snowshoes at the front door and head up 7th Street toward Basin Road. Aki acts like a three year old on Christmas.
Moving three feet forward with each leap, Aki sets the pace. She stops often to read messages written in yellow by her passing canine buddies. Once past Basin Road I free her from the leash and we both fall into the steady rhythm of the snow shoe.
We cross Gold Creek where it flows between snow covered banks and boulders and climb toward Perseverance Basin. A trail runner passes once but most of the time there is only snow falling on snow, spruce, and the arthritic limbs of windblown alders.
Looping back toward home we follow a steep track down to the creek. A Mr. Natural lean back and let them slide walk works best. Thank you Art Crumb. Then we wind through tall balsam popular on a trail bordered by short segmented reeds. Close up they resemble small bamboo forests. When the trail turns to offer a view of the creek filtered by the fine skeleton limbs of popular I half expect to find shelter from the snow in a Japanese tea house. We do find tracks of the resident deer who passed through here at first morning light. The storm has almost filed its tracks with snow.