Vintage Snowshoe Tours
s we hike into the Cottonwood forest, we become aware that the crunch of our snowshoes on dry powder snow is all we hear. Soon we are in the middle of a black and white photograph. The white of winter’s snow and the grey trunks and branches of Cottonwood trees are all we can see. Color has vanished, so has the horizon and any sense of direction. Soon we see animal tracks in the snow, a dotted line left by a Red Squirrel as it hops between tree trunks. A double set of very deep tracks follows a now dry flood channel. Closer inspection reveals the print of a dewclaw behind the hoof print, the tracks of a Cow Moose and her Calf. We see a shallow trench plowed by a slow plodding Porcupine as it moves from tree to tree.
After a short hike we hear the sound of rushing water and dense trees give way to open views of the Snake River. To the north we see the Tetons towering above the valley. As we approach the edge of the riverbank, a pair of Trumpeter Swans explode from a quiet eddy. They run across the surface of the water, on black webbed feet larger than a man’s hand, their huge white wings beating loudly as they gain speed. Suddenly all goes quite as the graceful birds take to the air. Now only their trumpeting sounds can be heard. The swans spook a flock of Goldeneye Ducks momentarily filling the sky with flying waterfowl.