Dear Curiosity Journal,

This could be the last substantial snowfall of the season, so I couldn’t let it pass me by without slapping my skis on one more time. I invited Rufus to come along, and although he was fatigued from pulling quackgrass, he rallied. We looped around the farm, noting how ice had glazed the north facing flora, and taking turns leading the way. Rufus has a pattern of leading us into the thick brush and I inevitably get tangled up and fall. Today I watched him tumble through the brambles, calculated the likelihood of doing the same, detached from my skis, and hiked down to where he was putting himself back together. He called it cheating, I called it self-preservation. We duck-walked up the next hill and dipped into the hammock forest where the snow was significantly softer and quieter, like sliding through butter compared to toast. Then we stood at the top of the big hill and I asked Rufus if he was going to “send it”. He and Balio started down the hill as he yelled back, “sendin’ it” so I followed at a much more conservative pace. Farmer and dog became entangled and tumbled to a stop halfway down the hill. I fell at about the same spot, but we agreed that a medium fall mid-hill is preferable to a full “yard sale” at the bottom (when all your gear is flung out in the snow). We methodically made our way back to the homestead and I asked Rufus which was harder on his body, the quackgrass or the ski adventure. He answered, “the quackgrass” with no hesitation.