Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Sigrid Olson

Making Tracks Around Potomac


Lyndi Oien

Potomac children experiencing snowshoeing and tracking in Condon Feb. 24 as part of the Potomac School Explorers Program.

POTOMAC - Throughout the Blackfoot Watershed, Potomac residents are out and about making tracks in the late winter snow. Winter recreationists are walking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling despite cold temperatures, rain, slush and ice.

Debbie Dudley walks every day, year 'round with her dogs, siblings Bridger and Maddie.

"We walk for exercise and enjoyment for all of us," said Dudley. "The dogs love it!" The trio typically walks in the morning during the week and her husband Bob walks them in the evenings and nighttime.

The Dudleys walk with their dogs in all kinds of weather although Debbie said winter does limit the places they can go. "Ice makes it [walking] challenging as does the snow at times, but it is so nice to just get out and go," she said.

Cross-country skiers have also taken advantage of the snow. Ski tracks can been seen along roadways or twisting through the woods.

Sigrid Olson, Pathfinder

Potomac resident Debbie Dudley making tracks with her two dogs, Bridger and Maddie.

Is it Bigfoot, or are those snowshoe tracks? Snowshoeing is good exercise and yet another way to experience the winter outdoors. The way snowshoes are shaped increases the surface area spreading out the user's weight on the snow and keeps them from sinking. Snowshoers have the quiet opportunity to find early deer sheds and may go off the beaten path to enjoy winter.

Snowshoeing can be enjoyed by all ages. Potomac School Explorers group attended a snowshoeing and tracking class in Condon Feb. 24. More than 10 children snowshoed.

Others prefer a louder approach to late winter. Snowmobilers have traveled all over Potomac, from along roadways and the highway, along the river and up to the wilderness. Popular routes include Garnet, Smith Creek, Sheep Mountain and Gold Creek.

Now that the days are getting longer, residents have more time to get out and make tracks in the snow.

Dudley said, "It is nice now that the days are getting longer. It's so peaceful out in our valley."


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