It's hard to beat the combination of a dusting of fresh snow on the ground and sunshine filtering through the trees from its low winter angle. Finn and I take full advantage of the combination on a trail run at Cougar on November 20th.
|Starting out on Coyote Creek Trail, Finn impatient to keep moving.|
|Tibbetts Marsh Trail. Gaining a little elevation; more snow. Birds!|
|Looking east across a gravel pit toward the three peaks of Tiger Mountain.|
|Clay Pit Road, leading to the gravel/clay pit.|
|Now we're talking: enough snow for Finn to eat as we head up Mine Shaft Trail.|
While I'm snapping the photo above, and looking about to see if I want to take more, Finn makes good use of the break, amusing himself by rolling in the snow:
He's enjoying it so much he doesn't care that I'm standing right next to him, snapping away. I really need to get a camera with video capability.
I tell him, "Let's run!" and he's off. But...I see another shot I want, right around the corner. I love this spot, how the snow turns the spindly tree limbs into lace. In summer and autumn this is a shady, mossy tunnel that's gorgeous in filtered sunlight.
|Finn can't believe I'm stopping again.|
As long as I'm stopping, Finn decides to entertain himself by rolling in the snow again.
|A look back down the trail.|
I stow the camera in my pack and tell Finn "Let's run!" again, this time meaning it. We run along the trails for another hour, occasionally greeting other people and dogs, but mostly lost in our own thoughts. Finn's thoughts seem to consist of "I'll pounce on the next thing I see moving." My own thoughts wander all over, from solving life problems and worrying about my aging malamutes, to composing articles and blog posts in my head while laughing at Finn's trail antics.
No matter how sad or troubled I may feel at the beginning of a solo run, no matter how achy my joints and tendons might be from running the day before, after just a mile or two my thoughts turn happy and productive and my body feels great. Never fails. Best and cheapest therapy in the world.
When Finn and I arrive back at the trail head, I notice for the first time (despite running here weekly, sometimes more than once a week) these big white berries clinging tenaciously to the limbs of their shrub. I've no idea what they are, but they fit in perfectly with the wintry landscape.
I often encounter grumpy people on the trails. I never encounter grumpy dogs. And rarely are the people with the dogs grumpy.
There's a lesson there.