Or, go right to the story: Tracks
What's it like to make first tracks? If you're a skier or snowboarder, you know that making "first tracks" means you were the first one to make your mark behind the groomer.
And even Ezra Jack Keats wrote about Peter, who went off into the deep, deep snow. He walked in the snow with his feet pointing in, then out...then he drug something alongside him in the snow to make more tracks.
But what about mushing? Is there excitement in making "first tracks"? Has something else been out there first?
See if you can tell what, or who, made the tracks in the photos on this page (including the one above)! There's one each of:
Identifying tracks in the snow isn't always easy! These links may help:
Gray Wolf Tracks
Gray Wolf Tracks in snow
Gray Fox Tracks
Red Fox Tracks
Red Fox Tracks in the snow
Grouse Tracks, Marks and Caves in the snow
by Gary Paulsen
Not the rain-snow-mud mess of early fall training, not the come-and-go slop of nature not making up its fall-winter-fall-winter mind but snow. Great endless glopping flakes that start one night, and it is always at night when it first comes, and go the next day and the next, endlessly falling, endlessly pulling your eyes up, and up....
One foot, then another, then another until the world is magically white and clean and new and you know as the dogs know, as the dogs sing of knowing that soon, soon it will be time for sleds and the long runs, the long dances in the moonlight-shadow of the mountains and the caressing limbs of snow filled trees and the whuff-steam of their breath as the dogs run, not so much pulling as just staying ahead of the sled in the white....
The new-white of new-snow.
And there, out ahead you see a pattern, an almost-painting where a raven's wing brushed the new-blue-white and left its mark and further on the cross-hatch of compression where someone, some person, moved through with snowshoes and over that a perfect clear print of a wolf paw and the dainty pattern of a mouse that ran in the moonlight trying to dodge an owl or the tiny blown-apart cave where a grouse spent the cold night buried....
Messy little marks of winter-life, swirls frozen in the white.
But further on, pulling you, out of ahead of the patterns and cross hatches and feathered bits of sign, out ahead where it hasn't happened yet you see it....
The new snow.
So beautiful and original that it's possible to believe no person, no thing has ever been there before.
Waiting. Waiting for you and the dogs and the sled and the perfect time, perfect moment to make....
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