Snow is like a new coat of paint

posted Feb 28, 2012, 12:04 PM by Paul Wagner
Hiking in the snow certainly has its challenges.  Even with snowshoes, it's a lot harder to get around, trails are sometimes hard to follow, and on top of that; it's damn cold most of the time.  It sure feels good to get warm after a hike in the snow!
But snow also has its charms on the trail.  We often think of snow as being like a fresh coat of paint.  It can change a less than attractive landscape into something both memorable and beautiful. Note the fire damage on every trunk
A recent hike in Yosemite was through an area that had extensive burn damage.  It would have been really sad to hike through that on a hot summer's day But in the snow, the black trunks of the trees contrasted spectacularly with the white snow. 
And the snow had left a layer of frosting on every downed tree and stump, creating some memorable cupcakes along the trail.
A row of cupcakes...
Snow also creates alll sorts of fun patterns and shapes as it falls and settles.  We found this pinwheel at the bottom of a snowdrift.  It had clearly rolled down the slope and turned into a wheel on the way.
And just like fresh paint, a fresh snowfall will also show every track of every animal that crosses your path.  These are encounters that would go by completely unnoticed in the summer...but the snow lets you know just exactly how close you came to seeing a bear on the trail! And apparently a bear passed this way recently