Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Tracking...

or Grownup Hide & Seek (at least we like to call it that)

This is the story of tracking a wildabeast (Jodi) through the snow. I highly recommend this as an awesomely exciting and contemplatively inward seeking game.

We went up to Vermont for the weekend to a friend's (Eric R) cabin.

If we looked out to the south there was a snowy field and some hills which we affectionately called "the show" (as in televisions many "shows"). It was a reality show.

The highlight for me was tracking down Jodi. She left 2 hours before I did with handwarmers in her boots (the night before was single digit (F) coldness.
(here she's getting suited up)

Then me and Eric left to try to track her down. At first we caught her tracks, but then they split in two direcitons. We weren't sure which to follow cause one of the set of tracks looked too big (but still human) and one set looked about the right size. But we ultimately decided to follow the bigger ones cause they jutted off the path which seemed like something Jodi would do. They turned out to be the wrong ones, but they crossed another pair of Jodi's tracks in the forrest. This turned out to be a real time-saver since we essentially shortcutted her circuitous route. Her tracks stopped at the stream but picked up on the other side so we crossed on a log.
(this is later after we found Jodi, but the same log)

There were lots of bunny tracks, deer tracks, and others,

and even some debatable moose tracks. We kept following the the Jodi-tracks and didn't lose her scent again. We saw some of her butt prints where she sat down too. We caught up to her after one hour (we were running for part of the time). She was sitting under a tree.

We laid under the trees for a while telling stories of the hunt from both points of view (she was watching us the whole time we were tracking her) and listening to the silence interspersed with hints of wild life.

The night before was the brightest full moon in years and years and as I listened to the noisy quiet I thought of how distinct my moon shadow was on the white snow the night before.

On the way back we walked over thin ice on the stream. I made it, but Eric fell through. The last thing I remember is "Ahhhh my foot is freezing cold, I can't feel it!!!!!!"