Last week was an interesting run on the Cub Creek ski trails. Warm weather and a rainy morning had turned the groomed trails to ice. On a slick steep section, I popped off my skis and walked uphill. The hail had stopped and the clouds cleared. Blue sky and bright sun teamed up to melt hoar frost from the trees. Steam rose from the evergreen needles as water droplets played out a rhythmic tune while birds sang. I didn’t mind the walk with such beauty all around. Sometimes even skis make too much noise to fully enjoy nature.
On this day, in was hard to imagine winter in a state of slumber. Watching the steam rise from extended branches, one couldn’t help but notice how the trees were the epicenter of forest operations. Deer bedded down the night before under the protective branches. Squirrels scampered up trunks to nibble on pine nuts, dropping the scales in messy piles below. Woodpeckers dined on insects within the bark. Even underground, root systems continued to absorb nutrients and prepare for the coming spring thaw and growing season. And all along, the evergreen trees continued to photosynthesize: eating carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen that fueled my uphill trudge.
Perhaps the trees are a lesson of community. Between the ongoing pandemic, misinformation campaigns, housing challenges and revelations of an organized coup attempt on our democracy – it can be easy to feel depleted. Each tree focuses all its energy on cleaning the air, absorbing nutrients for future growth, and providing food and shelter for the forest community.
One tree alone may not be much, but a whole forest working together produces an entire living breathing ecosystem that can survive even the coldest, darkest, winter.
Libby Creek’s Whiteout Racing Kennel is set to compete in the Pedigree Stage Stop seven-day stage race beginning this Friday (Jan. 28). After an energetic training season, Christina Gibson and her team of four-pawed athletes will traverse 225 snow-covered miles of scenic mountain trails.
Race teams meet up in Jackson Hole for the ceremonial start on Friday. Stage 1 begins in Teton County at the Blackrock Ranger Station outside of Grand Teton National Park. Stage 2 is through the Upper Green River trail system near Cora, Wyoming. Stage 3 will see the team racing through Pinedale, Wyoming.
Stage 4 is through the Green River Valley near the towns of Big Piney and Marbleton. Stage 5 starts in Kemmerer near world-renowned Fossil Basin. Stage 6 is through Bridger-Teton National Forest. The final Stage 7 has the team racing through Teton Valley. For race updates and information, visit www.wyomingstagestop.org.
To book a presentation, sponsor a dog, or learn more about the team, visit www.whiteoutracingkennel.com. For team photos and up-to-date race information on the Whiteout Racing Team, follow the team on Facebook, www.facebook.com/WhiteoutRacingKennel, and on Instagram @whiteoutracingkennel.