Carey and Debbie above Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring

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Second Tracks

Taking advantage of a rare opportunity for a snow ride in Austin, Texas on the familiar trails of Walnut Creek Park.

February 4, 2011

Sometimes it's good to be a follower. Today was such a day...

Early to the 'Nut while the ground was still frozen hard:

A little herringboning, just for kicks:

Ready to roll:

A lone rider had already claimed first tracks. Mojo, no doubt.


One occasionally becomes two:

Tire's eye:

Pow, wow!

A prickly situation on Point Six:

My unseen and presumed fearless leader did not risk the steep icy plunge down to the banked turn, so nor did I:


My phantom guide rolled easily through the creeks, so I followed likewise:

Main crossing was like an icy postcard:

Onwards! Now, with refreshingly moist feet:

It was getting downright fascinating following this unknown leader, wondering where we'd head at each intersection.

Ooooh, into Endo Valley we go? But no, it's Endo Jr. instead. Even Junior was a little too much for me to try today, what with the branches weighted-down extra low and pretty icy over the rocks. There were no footprints beside my guide's tracks, and I felt sad to have to tarnish the purity with my own, but hey, I wanted to finish the ride so I walked it down a few steps, and carefully:

Up Powerline? Ah, then down Ski Slope... in the snow! Of course, let's go!

Into Mark's Art we rolled, and I started wondering about the logpile. Would my guide clean it? Would I? Well, it appeared he did, albeit perhaps with a quick pause beforehand to recenter for the approach. I just hit it as I normally would, but without quite enough gusto and ended out chickened out right at the apex, and down went a foot, further sullying that perfect, clean first track. Dammit!

Is it Christmas again already?

We're in the homestretch now, zipping into the banks on the BMX loop:

Pump Track, or Terrain Park?

Finished out with the big plunge into the big up, which I was relieved to carry with momentum and not end up trapped in an icy gully:

Now, I've ridden in snow before, but always places like Colorado or Pisgah or the Midwest that were supposed to be snowy. It was super cool to experience the familiar confines of the 'Nut today, all dressed in white.

My imaginary guide was rather magical, and the overall ride was downright glorious. Kudos to whoever laid that first track. You did good brothah, thanks!

Next time this happens (a decade from now?) I cannot recommend enough that y'all get out there and savor this experience yourself. Just make sure you're out early, before things even think about thawing and turning to slop. Bad for the trails and not much fun either once that happens...



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