Bundled into layers, I ski behind Bob. He breaks trail in new snow (the harder job). I follow so my skis pack it. We try to keep several looping trails in the National Forest behind our house packed all winter. Sometimes, others use the trails before us, so all we have to do is glide over packed snow. On this cold morning, nobody has ventured into the forest. We only see signs of wild things that passed in the night - moose, fox, coyote, squirrel, porcupine. Warmth finally trickles into my body as we climb and work. I bare my head, letting my cap dangle by its bungie attached to my coat. When we finally reach the apex, I put the fleece cap back on my head to preserve heat. We let gravity pull us along on the downhill section leading back to the house. We pass the octopus tree, a landmark telling us we're soon home. Our grandchildren named the tree when they were little. The sun suddenly appears and spotlights Bob. The glow looks warm, but it's not. By this time, my fingertips and toes hurt from the cold. My toes are pieces of wood, and the cold is hammering them. Bob is tired, and I'm frozen. This trail is packed for another day. When I glimpse our house through the trees, I think about steaming coffee and the warmth of the fireplace. Even though I'm glad to be home, I'm happy that I can still roam in the wilderness just outside my back door.