Friday, January 06, 2017

Still Chillin'

Friend, neighbor and former colleague Woody Aunan

One other car sat in the parking lot at Trout Creek Wildlife Management Area when Bill and I arrive there yesterday afternoon. Twas the same car we'd seen two days ago.

We went to Trout Creek soon after Bill came home from town, where, he had been hobnobbing with his TROUT Unlimited friends.  So, TROUT Creek seemed like the place to go to enjoy what was left of the afternoon sunshine. 

Turns out that the minute we climbed into the pickup, clouds came and covered up the sun.  A little further down the road, I realized that I had left my ear scarf behind. I had just thrown on my cap to take the dogs out for a quick run before our departure and forgot to add the scarf.

Bill asked if I wanted to turn around and go back to get it.  

"No," I said, "It's already late enough. I'll figure out something." 

"Something" ended up being part of one of towels in the back seat where the dogs sit.  I shook the towel vigorously, hoping to remove most dog hair and wrapped it around my neck. 

A packed trail led across an open field to the southwest toward Pack River, so we took that route with Bill marching just off the trail with his snow shoes while I walked in my boots. 

Bill noted that the trail made a loop, running along Pack River and back to the trail where we walked Wednesday.  

We had reached the portion along the river, which is mostly frozen and covered with snow, when we spotted someone skiing our way with a dog. Figuring that must be the driver of the car in the parking lot,  I stepped off the trail to let the skier past.  

As he approached us, I heard, "Is that the Love's? . . . it's Woody."  

Sure enough, it was my former Sandpoint High colleague and Selle neighbor, whom I haven't seen in at least a couple of years.  Woody's also retired, but for some reason our paths haven't crossed for quite some time until yesterday. 

Woody Aunan was a chemistry/physics teacher extraordinaire at SHS---- very bright, dedicated, creative and incredibly committed to his students.  

We always had great respect for each other, so it was nice to run into him in this outdoor setting and to know he's enjoying retirement as much as I am. 

We visited a while and then went our separate ways. 

Once Bill and I reached the trail where we'd walked on Wednesday, I suggested we head to the left, a short stretch which ends at some pilings along the river.  Bill said he's pretty sure that's what left of the bridge for the old HWY 200. 

Whatever the case, it makes a nice spot for looking up and down the river and seeing the spot where Trout Creek flows into the Pack. 

When we moved on and returned to the bridge which we had crossed Wednesday, both of us noticed some major changes, especially how close the Trout Creek water is coming to the bridge itself.  

Seems all the freezing has pushed flowing water into different spots.  Bill wondered if this might be the year when a thaw takes out the bridge.  I guess we'll see. 

Anyway, the scene dramatically showed how Mother Nature can modify her outdoor design---and quickly.  In this case, her skilled hand left some lovely vignettes of cold, cold winter art. 

I grumbled a bit when we left the bridge to check out some more Trout Creek shoreline in the same area where Bill and Annie did some fly fishing last May before Annie's Camino departure.  

It was neat to see the contrast from that spring day's show of brilliant greenery, but it wasn't so neat when Bill started breaking a new loop trail back to the main trail and virtually every step I took meant sinking deep into the unpacked snow. 

I lived and quit griping once we were back on the packed trail. 

Back home, I did another session of thawing the ice in Lily's water bucket which hangs inside the barn.  

We're both pretty happy that this morning's balmy 7 degrees means a gradual escape from this early January chill, but we know that, with the warm-up, a lot of the stunning beauty and nostalgia of this most recent cold, wintry experience will be left behind. 

We're also happy this morning, like all other ZAGS fans across the world.  Great victory last night in San Francisco, and they continue as undefeated and one of only two such teams in the country.  Lovin' the ZAGS so much and proud of them. 

Happy Friday.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chuckled at your shaking the dog hair off the towel from the dog roost in the back seat! We have son and his Rottweiler living with us now and are growing used to dog hair.