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The magic of hiking. I followed bunny tracks in the snow.

Steep, dangerous ice on the trail. It rained on the snow, froze hard, then snowed lightly.

"I don't want you to fall and hit you head on a rock," Karen said. Me, too.

Wearing micro-spikes, today Karen and I climbed up to Lake Clara by Mission Ridge Ski Area. Strong cold wind indicated a weather change. More snow is coming.

"Descending on the ice will be dangerous," we agreed while eating lunch at Lake Clara.

Since we started at noon, we chose to descend after lunch instead of climbing higher. This far north in Washington State, it got dark at 3:40 p.m. today.

Good grief, that ice was slippery! And wickedly steep. Nobody else was on the trail.

I veered into the woods to avoid one dangerously steep and icy corner. I felt delighted to see bunny tracks. I carefully stepped downhill to join the trail below the icy corner. The rabbit took the same path.

"I followed bunny tracks in the snow!" I called to Karen. It was enchanting.

Walking in the woods is comforting during the pandemic. Quiet and serene.

"The ice gave this beautiful hike a frisson of danger and excitement," I said as we neared the bottom. Karen agreed. We made it down safely.


  1. Snowy trees near the start of the trail.

  2. Lake Clara was frozen, about 1,000 feet higher. This is where we ate lunch.

  3. Micro-spikes on my hiking boots. I sewed Velcro straps to prevent losing them in snow.

LiterateHiker 9 Dec 14

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I'm a wuss, I'll stick with my Katy Trail here and other wonders like the Botanical gardens of St Louis when the holiday light crowds are gone. I do love the Japanese garden there, very serene

Missouri Botanical is a treasure. I used to go there often during my younger days in St. Louis.


When it comes to relaxation, peace......nothing beats a boat.


The Healing Power of Nature

"Japanese researchers found that people who spend 40 minutes walking in a cedar forest, had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is involved in blood pressure and immune-system function, compared when they spent 40 minutes walking in a lab.

Another researcher, Dr. Quing Li, a professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, found that trees and plants emit aromatic compounds called phytoncides that, when inhaled, can spur healthy biological changes. Li has shown that when people walk through or stay overnight in forests, they often exhibit changes in the blood that are associated with protection against cancer, better immunity and lower blood pressure. Recent studies have also linked nature to symptom relief for health issues like heart disease, depression, cancer, anxiety and attention disorders."

From "The Healing Power of Nature," Time magazine, July 25, 2016.

@LiterateHiker I can totally relate. I eat natural foods and take several supplements. I walk for an hour a day, a few times a week at the beach. As far as many of the illnesses you mentioned many have been cured by naturopathic methods. A diet of natural foods, a one hour walk a day, drinking 8 bottles a day of purified water, taking several dietary supplements, such as Vitamin D, and E, a whole food supplement which contains fruit and Vegetable extractions, calcium, and I even take a sea vegetable supplement, which have vitamin and cofactors that defy explanation. Fasting is another thing I do 4 times a year for 3 days. Over 15 years I’ve only had one very short lived cold and about 7 or 8 times just developed sniffles that lasted for about 6 hours. Naturopathic remedies correct your body’s imbalances that are the cause of disease unlike most pharmaceuticals that are designed to just “suppress” symptoms.


I went to work on my bicycle this monday, which is unusual at this time of year arround here. We had a little snow but it all melted.


I started hiking and backpacking when I was in the Boy Scouts. I have backpacked in many national parks and wilderness areas. It brought me a peaceful mind. I no longer backpack, but going out for 3-4 hours and sometimes longer and bringing lunch is still a great feeling.


Be careful sweety

bobwjr Level 10 Dec 14, 2020

It was nice you had your micro-spikes, it would have been dangerous without them. I went snowshoeing Saturday at Snoqualmie pass. It was icy at the bottom but nice snow at the top.


Usually it's icy at the bottom with deeper snow at higher elevations.

Then I want micro-spikes AND snowshoes.


You didn’t get pictures of the bunny tracks? The others are great though


Photos of animal tracks in snow rarely turn out. Not enough contrast.


Gorgeous pics

CS60 Level 7 Dec 14, 2020

It used to be so much fun finding bunny tracks in the snow in places you had never seen any bunnies.


Jackrabbit fur turns white in winter. Good camouflage in snow.


I love snowshoeing because you can see who lives there.

@LiterateHiker I remember walking home from a late movie, when it snowed while we were inside. There were bunny tracks in the perfect snow going up the street. Of course all of Coulee Dam was three blocks from the edge of town.


Last winter, Karen and I were thrilled to see wolf tracks in the snow near Blewett Pass, WA. The track was huge.

A newly-established wolf pack travels between Blewett Pass and Mission Ridge Ski Area, Wenatchee.

Two wolves were spotted on a trail above Icicle Road, Leavenworth by a family of hikers last Spring.

A friend who lives in Forest Ridge subdivision near Mission Ridge Ski Area heard wolves howling for the first time in her life last winter. She was thrilled.

@LiterateHiker I was at a friends place out in the desert at sunset a few years ago, I heard howling, but it didn't sound like coyotes.I could have sworn it sounded like wolves. Later I found his neighbor raises wolves.


That looks like some heavy duty spikes on your boot,sounds like you really needed them


Karen has studs instead of micro-spikes. She had more trouble.


Love your beautiful out doors pics and the snow ,We still do not have any snow yet ,good chance of a green Christmas Happy you had another wonderfull hike and stayed safe


I just had a thought and thus a question. Did finding the rabbit tracks help you find an easier path down the mountain, or were they just interesting to find and follow for a short time? I am surprised by the number of time I have heard of people finding themselves in a situation where Nature was trying to tell them something.


Good question. I clarified that paragraph.

I felt delighted to see bunny tracks. I carefully stepped downhill to join the trail below the icy corner. The rabbit took the same path.

@LiterateHiker The only reason I brought this forward was a program on National Geographic, about a research group researching ancient civilizations in Central America. They had been dropped into a forest location by helicopter and started to set up campsites. One of the sites was below a tree full of monkeys that made noises and howled during the placing of the tent. Finally, the tent was placed and the person who was staying in it went to eat with the others. Upon returning to the tent they found a large Fer-de-lance laying waiting for a monkey to fall from the tree that would become dinner for the snake. I thought it was interesting that it could be said the monkeys were trying to warn of the snake ultimately placing itself where the tent was located.


Sounds like a great way to spend a day. Great pictures. For me to be there all I can think of is having someone have to call for help and get me to a hospital. I have been in areas like this when I was much younger, I used to live about 60 miles North of Yellowstone Park, during the Winter it was great to go and see all the wildlife there. Lots of creature and almost no people.

We get lots of snow. But that also means noise from snow machines. 🤬 there’s no silence anymore.


Motorized vehicles are forbidden on many trails, including this one.


Beautiful snow on the trees

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