On the last weekend of December, I drove to the east side of the Columbia River Gorge to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint located between Mosier and The Dalles, Oregon. The area to the west of the Viewpoint is a Nature Preserve. Basalt cliffs, oak grasslands and interesting trails make it a fun hiking area in the spring, and winter too.
I headed north on a loop trail in the lower portion of the Reserve. There was several inches of snow on the ground and concrete skies accented by temperatures in the high 20s and a brisk easterly breeze. While slowly descending the basalt plateau, I cut some fresh coyote tracks and deer sign.
What fun! I tracked the deer for quite a while before catching a glimpse of the coyote. Soon I spotted the coyote again hunting in some open fields. For some reason I never found the deer, but had lots of fun trying.