To change things up a bit and take advantage of the beautiful weather, I went up the highway on Saturday with a friend and her dog (Kobi’s besty). First stop, a pretty little canyon and a frozen river.
After the river photos we headed to a trail that led to a radio tower.
There was still plenty of snow up there (elevation start is 4,250′) so snowshoes were a must. The snow was packed quite well so we didn’t sink too badly, but we also used poles. Those really help decrease the number of face-plants you take.
The weather was stunning! We didn’t need jackets until we got to the very windy summit. I have no idea the elevation gain, maybe 1,500′?
We saw a few interesting things along the way. This was the first. We’re convinced it was a bear den. Or someone who just dug a whole in the side of the bank.
Then we saw some tracks. Kobi saw them first, or smelled them first. She started barking, had her hackles up and then ran back to me. That means it was something she didn’t want to tangle with or had never smelled before. At first I thought they were canine and then I thought maybe it was a bear that had woken up way too early.
I did some Googling when I got home and I am 98.9% certain they were wolverine tracks (not the Hugh Jackman X-Men character). I deduced this based on the location – alpine, Kobi’s reaction – fear, and how they looked – cross between a canine and a bear = wolverine. Not a critter I want to run into. Actually, it is one of the scariest critters to run into. They are fearless, strong, carnivorous, and did I mention fearless? I’ve heard they go after bears.
We continued onwards and upwards, quite literally. We could see our destination, the tower, way off in the distance. After what felt like forever, we finally made it to the top. Of course we startled some caribou also hanging out up there. I always hate when I startle cute wildlife. No photo as I was frantically calling Kobi to get her leashed up so as not to chase the poor critters.
I checked the map when I got home and we snowshoed 12km! That explains why I was so tired. Kobi is still sleeping today. She ran like an absolute maniac the entire time we were out there, you would think she had never been outside before. Seems to be how she rolls.
What’s cool is this is only an hour and half drive (less actually) from where I live. There also wasn’t anyone else out there – kind of cool and kind of spooky.
Do you think that was a bear den? Do you think I deduced correctly in identifying the wolverine? Ever felt like you’ve been running, walking, hiking, snowshoeing forever and it’s only been 15 minutes?