Cowboy on snowshoes

Posted on January 18, 2008

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Lorelle Van Fossen at WordPress issued a challenge to bloggers to write a travel post today.  I can do that.  Sure I can. 

Cowboy on snowshoes

Today was the kind of day that Californians think defines winter in northern Michigan – the kind of day that makes folks in Torch Lake Township think deep thoughts about traveling south on I-75 until we get warm – the kind of day that makes me wonder what the heck I’m doing up here, trying to heat a leaky little chalet with a propane wall furnace and some electric baseboards – the kind of day that doesn’t faze Cowboy the sort-of-spaniel mix.  He just plows through the snow snuffling after deer and fox and other dogs, gradually building up his own personal “snowshoes.”  I’ve decided that the little guy has the right attitude.  Today’s travel adventure is set along the frozen reaches of Grand Traverse Bay. 

Dark-thirty of the morning and it’s time to bring in the newspaper.  Long nightgown and SmartWool socks, check.  Insulated shoes with YakTrax strapped on, check.  Down coat, zipped and snapped, check.  Polarfleece hat, one insulated glove, check.  The dogs are bouncing off the walls.  Leashes clipped on, check.  Flashlight lit and looped over wrist, check.  Second insulated glove, check.  Ready to open the door.

New snow has drifted across the deck and down the 22 steps to the drive.  We make our way carefully – last night it sleeted, and I know there’s ice under the snow.  The bay crashes against the frozen shore.  A north wind whips the birches and popple back and forth.  The dogs are delirious.  Nothing is more exciting than blowing snow in the dark.  Hah.  We mush down the drive and cross the road.  The tire tracks Dean Peters left are already filling in, and the Record-Eagle is tucked in its box. 

The dogs read their own news, following the scents of all the critters that trespassed while we slept, stopping to mark their own territory.  Back to the warm house and breakfast.  When it gets light I’ll take you over to Torch Lake.  We can have coffee at Sonny’s before they close up for their six week Florida vacation.   

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