Some days you end up taking the skis for a walk. Woke up to clouds, hiked in rain, and found mush where I'd hope for an overnight re-freeze. So it goes.
Was shooting for something new, not pictured here, but I like the photo, so it's going up.
After making it to the lake I spooked a cow elk. Tracks led me to believe she had been hanging out along the water's edge, and maybe this was why--a drowned calf, suspended as if in mid jump, in only a couple feet of water.
The calf looked calm, and I had trouble coming up with a good story for how she got there. Fell through the ice? But the lake was ice free. Jumped in and couldn't get out? But the edge is shallow, an easy walk. Just unlucky?
More things in heaven and earth, Horatio...
A few minutes later I stumbled upon a bear. He ran off, and I hung around clacking my ski poles and hollering before continuing on my way. Then there he was again. Same story. After a few minutes I started hiking once more, only to run into him a third time. Now, instead of moving off, he began shambling my way, just a bit faster than I could trot.
I haven't heard much about black bear encounters, but I wasn't interested in becoming anybody's unusual cocktail story. The snow was rotten, the omens seemed poor. Better to head down and drink a beer in the sun. Enough strange was in the air.