Finn's Snow Run

November 23rd. Maia was recovering from surgery, and Meadow mopes without her on runs, so just Finn and I went for a run at Ponderosa State Park. My house and valley were fogged in, but the park was above the fog bank. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny and crisp morning, with just a dusting of fresh snow on the trails.

This photo was taken from The Point, looking back across Payette Lake toward the town of McCall. The fog bank that held my house captive is seen just behind town.

Just after we left the trail to take the park road to The Point for the vista photos, I spied this gorgeous old dead fall sprinkled with the previous night's snow. I urged Finn to jump onto it for a photo op. He jumped up, and over, then back, and off, then up, and took several tries to get him to stand still long enough for me to get a photo! He's as bad as Maia at posing. Only Meadow knows how to model.

Finn posing on some lava rock at The Point. Looking south across Payette Lake. The town of McCall is hidden behind the big tree on the left.

Finn enjoying our usual water stop. He also enjoys slurping snow on the run, just like the girls.

I couldn't get enough of the view. The fog bank was gorgeous.

Each run or hike is now bittersweet. I will be moving back to the Seattle area in just over a week. I'm thrilled to be going home, returning to friends and dogs I've missed so much. I'm excited to again enjoy the culture and diversity that is Seattle. In three and a half years here, I've not bonded with the people, and don't imagine I ever would. It's hard to feel comfortable in a place where everyone fears your dogs simply because they think they resemble wolves. It's impossible, for me, to want to live in a place where hunting and killing wolves is the reality, legal or not. I'm always on edge, that someone will mistake my girls for wolves and shoot them. That's no way to live.

But I am going to miss the easy access to the Payette Forest. My girls and I have been privileged to have up-close encounters with wolves, coyotes, red fox, elk, deer, bear, moose, hawks, eagles, turkeys, ravens and mountain bluebirds - and many other forest creatures big and small that we never noticed but noticed us. We've traveled some awesome single track trails with amazing views. It's been a wonderful adventure with Mother Nature, something I'll cherish forever. I'm so blessed to have been able to travel this path with the girls - they've allowed me to witness so much that I would otherwise not have noticed. They're my enhanced eyes and ears; the best possible companions in the forest.

I will miss what Idaho could be. I will not miss what it currently is.

My pack and I will soon be setting out a yet another adventure.