Funny, but on my way to Elk Meadow park to run, I passed a small herd of elk in an Evergreen residential neighborhood. It was a sign!
Eh, I don't believe in signs, but I ran there anyway.
This outing was snowy, cold, a bit breezy, and higher up than my usual runs (it topped out at around 9,100 feet). I was chilly as I got out of my car, but once I got moving it was OK, and I just enjoyed the falling snow and the solitude. I saw one biker on snow tires in two hours, that's it.
The snow on the trail was light near the bottom, but got deeper as I ascended.
There's a mountain top up there somewhere:
Heading up Too Long trail, the snow got deeper, with tracks nearly covered up by falling snow.
I pondered taking the out-and-back summit trail to the top of Bergen Peak, but was late in the afternoon and I wanted to get home, plus the wind was picking up.
On the way back down I spied some footprints crossing the trail. Someone had hiked up here with their dog, but those prints were covered by a couple of inches of snow. These were made within the hour. No claws so probably feline, but too small for a mountain lion. Bobcat? The tracks led out to a small outcropping, where the animal must have peered downhill, then turned and headed back up through the trees.
Distance was 8.38 miles, time 2:16 (moving 2:07), elevation gain/loss 1,759 feet, avg. pace 16:14 (moving 15:10), and best pace 6:40