Aki loves the bouquet of dog poop newly revealed by melting snow. This is a taste we do not share, nor do I care for walking on this heavily used trail, now greasy from boot and paw tracks pounded into rain softened snow. Making an executive decision I veer us off the main track and onto a back way into the beaver village.
The light boned dog trots over the top of the three feet of snow covering the trail, ducking under willows dent double by winter storms, making good time. I plod along, driving booted legs up to the knee in soft snow, still savoring the clean solitude, willing to pay the price charged for manageable pain like a masochist handing a charge card to his hired tormentor.
When discomfort drains off the fun I cut back to the main trail, enjoying solid tread, avoiding piles of dog poo pockmarking the dense snow all the way to the beaver’s dam complex. There Aki checks out the slide they have fashioned for access to the lake over dam number one. The beavers recently dined on a downed cottonwood tree, ripping off dark brown rippled bark, leaving us a view of shinning light colored wood beneath, scattering the snow beneath with their woody crumbs like messy toddlers left alone with a box of Cherrios.