There was no grass visible, covered as it was by three feet of snow. Clouds obscured Aqua Fria Peak, meaning there’d be more snow in the night. The lower branches of the aspens had clearly felt the teeth of hungry deer and elk. There’d no doubt be wolves shadowing their flanks.
Old Pete cut branches for the two pack mules and created a feeding pile. They came eagerly to investigate.
What they left would clearly indicate the passing of a stranger, but he didn’t expect anyone was watching for him, anyhow. And by midday tomorrow the pile would be just another white-mounded windfall.
He added wood to the fire and pulled the buffalo robe tighter around his shoulders. He wished he had some coffee or Taos lightning. The snow-melt water was hot enough to warm him, but something with a kick in it would feel mighty handy right about now.