Answer: snowshoeing up a mountain!
We really did have a great morning! I’ve been wanting to go up to Payne Bluffs from Three Forks for some time. Today was the most perfect day to do it. The snow was deep and pristine. Not another person had been up the trail. We strapped on our snowshoes and headed out through deep powder. Shanara, ever the trail-breaking dog, went ahead, plowing through snow that was at least chest-high and often deeper. And that’s not counting the times she went completely off-trail to investigate squirrel, rabbit and wolf tracks.
In other words, she had a wonderful time. Abby, on the other hand, is not in these photos because she followed sedately and wisely in our tracks.
We set a good moderate snowshoe uphill pace and climbed the switchbacks that were reminiscent of the CPR trail – in other words – a gazillion of them. The forest, deep in its winter mantel, was beautiful. We were alone in the wilderness (except for aforementioned squirrels, rabbits, wolves and probably deer).
We had a wonderful view at the top and got back down in record time, as one does on snowshoes – and that’s one of the things I love about winter hiking – down is soooo easy. Take a step and slide. Gravity does the work.
A hot bath and a nap when we got home – chocolate – a cozy fire in the stove downstairs.