Making Tracks!

The booger messed up my tracks. For the last couple of weeks I've been working diligently to create a nice ski track up Narrows Creek. Since the dogs go with me, it really is a fairly complicated process.

First I make a trail for the dogs. While, in theory, it is a ski track, the dog's tracks soon mess it up to the point it makes for poor skiing. After two or three days, its time to make my track.

Of course, since the dogs prefer the bottom, flat ground, this often leaves me making my tracks on a slight side hill. After all, if I make my tracks too close to theirs, they consider it an extention of their own. THAT is not the goal. Then there are the really narrow spots where my track weaves back and forth across their track. And, in a few places, we continue to share the same track.

As if that weren't enough, whenever the wind blows or a decent snow falls, I'm left trying to 're-find' my track in places. Of course the dog's track is usually pretty obvious. A ditch through the snow. However, in the windiest spots, that can even fill in. Then I'm left re-creating both the dog's track and my track.

So now that you know what I do for fun (really, although I'd never admit it to the dogs, I do enjoy the whole process for the most part).

Anyway, once I create the 'perfect' ski track, I get pretty possessive. In fact, the dogs have learned what 'Get out of my track' means. As a result, they have become quite good at staying in their own track.

To further protect my track, I send the dogs ahead as we turn back toward the lodge. This way I leave the last tracks - nicely packed, smooth, and slick - awaiting my next trip up the draw.

That's how I figured out something else had been traveling in my tracks. In fact, he (I'm assuming gender) hadn't just crossed my tracks, he had left big sloppy holes in my tracks all the way up the draw.

At first I thought I was looking at Bo's tracks. Those who have met him know Bo is a big boy. Weighing in at about 150 pounds, he leaves a pretty impressive track in the snow. The tracks in my ski tracks, however, belonged to a noticeably larger animal.

And, of course, my dogs have better manners! In the end, however, no matter how much I may fuss and fume, it was a thrill to see the tracks. After all, this is the first time I've had a wolf wandering around this close to my back yard. As long as he stays out of the actual backyard, he's welcome to visit whenever he like (although I'd really prefer he stay out of my ski tracks!)

Lady of the Lake

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