Snow blanketed the forest in a greeting card moment. Four elk paused briefly to look my way before disappearing down the slope into the winter landscape. My arrival in midafternoon mild temperatures distracted me from what the following day had to share. My excitement level rose and got the better of me.
The usual winter overnight comfort proved elusive on this trip and with the amount of snow on the trail I decided to spend the night in the uncomfortable confinement of a bucket seat opened to the size of a shrunken bed. The only benefit came in the form of ready heat at the turn of the key. And the beauty of the forest under the full moon that night did not escape my notice.
But the morning brought more snowfall and freezing temperatures. The temperature difference of a few degrees surprised me on how vehicle traction deteriorated. All factors seemed against me. The snow did not yield as easily, the slope now lay slightly uphill instead of down and my attempt to sleep in a limited area severely altered my strength, at least until I walked through tangled brush and deep snow. Later, as I shoveled across one hundred feet of freshly crusted snow, my strength returned. Not in a refreshed sort of way but more in a “no choice” kind of way.
As I moved about that snowy terrain I became convinced more than ever about the location of the buried treasure. Mathew Roderick showed great planning in his efforts, more than I ever suspected. Once more I wait patiently and plan for the next journey into the wilderness of Boundary country.