Turkey Tracks

Yesterday's theme: weather.

After several days of spring warmth and sun, storms blew through and left a half inch of fresh snow at the house, as if Mother Nature was reminding us not to get too cocky about winter being over. Rain, hail, sun, wind - she threw it all in, coming and going, throughout the day. Finally, around six in the evening, I decided to take the girls up into the forest, dodging storms in temperatures hovering around 40F without windchill factored in, going up higher than we'd gone in by car since most of the snow has melted. I wanted to see where we could go without encountering too much slush.

I parked the Rolling Dog Crate (my Mazda Tribute - bottom photo) at a curve in the road where an old logging road spurs off to the south. The access to this old road is blocked by a deep tank trap, keeping most vehicles out, which I like. As we approached, a gaggle of turkeys squawked and fled. I was glad the girls were in the car and couldn't give chase. Their breathing quickened and their noses were up against the window, watching and hoping. I waited several minutes, giving the turkeys a good head start. We didn't see them again, despite the girls' best efforts.

I was surprised how little snow remained on this road, but happy that we could wander an entire loop route we'd scouted last Autumn. For the girls, this was "new" territory since we hadn't been here since. Malamutes are easily bored. As am I. I guess that's why we're a good match. But it means I'm constantly looking for new places to run or hike, to keep them and me entertained and motivated. It means I find interesting places far from the maddening crowd. I find peace and quiet.

Half way through this three mile loop we came upon a shady spot where the ground was cold enough to hold the dusting of snow that had fallen the night before. Here I saw turkey tracks. (If the girls saw them, they ignored them; perhaps them smelled them.) They're distinctive in their size: huge. That's my footprint in the middle of the turkey prints in the middle photo.

As we continued on, one big, loud clap of thunder rolled through the valley below us. We all stopped in our tracks, not sure at first what we'd heard as it had been so long since we'd been out in such a storm. Systems move fast through this country, and the girls and I have often been overtaken by lightning. A little scary, more for me than the girls. Another Malamute trait: no fear of thunder or other loud noises. A nice trait.

I like this loop. After meandering through dense trees for a bit, we pop out on a high and gently rounded slope with views to the south. I always think of the song The Hills Are Alive from The Sound of Music when I reach this spot (top photo).