Friday, February 12, 2010

Jentel, Final Day

My last day was almost as warm as the first, though it only reached 47° and the sky is overcast.  Plus:  snow?  A small flurry of it, with tiny flakes that seem impossible, given the temperature.

Yesterday, after our final run through Sheridan, our resident handyman, Scott, took us on a tour of the Wyoming environs -- into his friend's pheasant ranch and along the snow-covered polo fields. So, in the spirit of exploration, I finally ventured into the hilly 1000 acres behind Jentel.  Despite being completely out-of-shape and huffing like a madman before I had crested my first hill, I will say this in my defense:  pulling your leg out of a shin-deep pile of snow takes quite a bit of effort.

I heard there are these things?  And they're called snowshoes?  And they distribute your weight across the snow so you don't sink into it?  In my eternal laziness, I found deer tracks and promptly trekked through them, letting the pre-compacted snow carry my weight.

But at least the snow wasn't treacherous.  Most of the non-snow parts of the hill were slick with mud and patties of cow dung (plus little jellybean-sized pellets of unidentifiable excrement).  So if my ascent was marked by snow of indeterminate depth, my descent was marked by skidding along the mud, using innocent scrub and brush to slow my slide.

Also:  even though walking over what looks like a frozen-over creek may seem like a perfect shortcut to save you -- oh, let's say forty feet or so of walking -- that water's really, really cold.  And when the ice crackles under your feet, it only gets colder.

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