This afternoon I dropped all my responsibilities to go walk in knee-deep snow on Antelope Island. I have a good life full of good things, but sometimes I can’t see them as good until I run away from them for a little while. So my friend and I went to a place where the snow was covered in animal tracks and very few people tracks.
Even out at Fielding Garr Ranch, where there were people structures, most of the tracks were supplied by four legged critters. We walked out on the beach where all the sand was covered in snow. Some steps we walked along a crust on the top of the snow and it crunched under our feet. Other steps found us knee deep in fluffy flakes. We plowed our way through heading toward the water. It was only when I looked back at our tracks and they were wet that we realized we were already beyond the water’s edge. We’d walked out onto the ice.
The silence is something I always notice when out on the island. This time I only noticed it when I stood still. The rest of the time the crunching of snow and my own laughter filled my ears. It is hard not to laugh when trying to walk in the tracks left by a buffalo. His ambling steps required me to make over-long strides which probably would have qualified me for the Ministry of Silly Walks.
It was cold, a mere twenty degrees, but it did not feel cold at first. We were having too much fun exploring and making tracks. Later we felt cold, because our breaks in the car to warm up allowed the snow gathered on pant legs and socks to melt and make the fabric wet. Even then we did not mind. The cold was worth it to crunch through glittering snow, see a great horned owl roosting in a tree, see a barn owl out hunting, look at little mouse tracks across the snow, read in the circling tracks how a fox caught and ate a rabbit. We saw the fox himself later as he paused to make eye contact with a passing buffalo. There were other cars on the island, but we were the only ones to venture forth knee deep in snow.