Sara asked Chuck if he would take her ice climbing, so they went this afternoon. I joined in the capacity of official photographer. By and large, I like trying new things; but I sense that ice climbing would be a perfect storm of things I suck at. I was happy to just tag along. I had a few chores to do around the house, so I let them go about 20 minutes ahead of me. I figured that would give them time to mess with gear, and that I would get there just as the excitement was beginning.
Chuck planned to take Sara to a waterfall that is not on the radar of the ice climbing crowd. Too small: a series of three little falls; each about 8 feet high. Perfect for beginners. He told me, "Just follow our boot prints - you'll find us." So I set off and followed the boot prints. For a looooong way! I knew the prints were theirs because there were no other human tracks in such deep snow and isolated terrain; and also because Sara would occasionally write things like, "Hi, Mom!" or "Hey!" in the snow with her glove.
It has been bitterly cold here for the last couple of weeks, so the snow has a very strange consistency - dry as sand and just as loose. I was wallowing in thigh-deep powder for most of the trek.
I "Haloo-ed" those guys as they got close to the waterfall. Sara called down, "Mom! Look out for the dead deer!" "Where?" "Right here! We just climbed on it!" "I dunno, does it have hair on it, still? I could use a little traction." She looked disgusted. "NO! It's just bones and fluff!"