"The Rest of the Story" (Part 2)

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    Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on February 27, 2007 at 11:37:12:

    In Reply to: The "Rest of the Story" (Part 1) posted by Ballpark Frank on February 27, 2007 at 11:23:14:

    Here we see Roadie motoring up the hill. In some ways, this shot is redundant to the previous one, but I had to throw it in. It's so wintry-looking, and I know how much you love winter!

    At this point, we were starting to encounter pockets of very soft, unconsolidated snow that had been blown over the knolls that protrude here and there. At times, we would sink as much as 1 to 2 feet, even though we were using snowshoes. There is a particular hill that is readily recognizable to anyone that has wandered up there very often. The old road wraps around what appears to be a remnant dirt quarry. There's a grove of trees off to the right. Toward the top of the hill, there is a blown down tree that makes a good rest stop. We ate lunch there 2 weeks earlier, when we were skiing in the area. This time, we just kept going. By now, there were low clouds accumulating all around. The wind had picked up substantially.

    Just beyond that hilltop, you enter a lengthy shallow valley with a north-south ridge off to the right and a few little knolls on the left. Gradually, a scattered herd of bison came into view. They were arrayed in an arc across our intended route. Most were paired off. It almost seemed like they were deliberately working cooperatively to work their way down through the deep snow to get at something to eat. You could see substantial craters where they had been working. There was an obvious route we could have taken between the larger group on the left and a satellite group on the right, but we didn't want any of them to get nervous and start wasting valuable time and energy moving off. We made the decision to veer off almost 90 degrees to the left, heading for (you guessed it) a partially burned forest. Once there, we would make the decision whether to try and continue up to the long meadows, circumventing the bison to the east, or simply work our way back to the trailhead via another route.

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