The Interp staff here apparently have a tradition. If no one on a snowshoe walk falls down by the end of the program, the ranger will make a snow angel at the trailhead.
Today, our school group got a special treat. Unfortunately, the weather/snow was bad enough that the park plows couldn't get the road cleared through to Paradise in the morning. So instead, Ranger Marne took us on a walk around the Trail of Shadows at Longmire. We talked about the standard winter ecology/adaptations information as usual, but Marne added in some of the history of Longmire and the geology of the springs. If you didn't know, there are mineral springs - not HOT mineral springs, the water is cool to the touch (which we all did!) - at Longmire. This is what first attracted James Longmire to the meadow in 1883. (Ok, so his lost horse had a part to play in the discovery as well...)
Our group was eighth graders today; the trail we were on is much easier than the Nisqually Vista loop at Paradise. No kids fell over, so Marne was true to the ranger oath (*wink*):
23 hours ago