Revivified in Island Park
Story and Photos by Alice Schenk
The sparkle of possibility shone upon the day as Wayne and I headed out on our rented snowmobile, which I had nicknamed Betsy. We were at Island Park in the winter of 2016, celebrating our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary, and I hadn’t been on a snowmobile in more than three decades. I wanted to see Upper Mesa Falls in all its winter splendor, especially because my friend Sheri Bedke had shown me spectacular photos of the frozen falls and snow-encrusted rocks along the steep slopes. When we got there it was stunning, even though we missed the window of the big snow.
Wayne and I spent five hours in the saddle one day and more than four the next, followed both days by the “cure” of a hot shower and a good meal. On the way back to Last Chance to return Betsy, we plodded or plowed over mogul after mogul until arriving at a creek. The trail continued on the other side but to get to it we had to go down the embankment and then up the one on the other side. Wayne backed up and I thought he intended to gun it and jump the creek. It seemed doable for riders with shiny new machines, but our old gray mare wasn’t what it used to be, especially packing two passengers. Wisely, Wayne turned Betsy around and we retreated to find a different route to Last Chance. On the way, we passed a cattle chute of sorts covered in mounds of snow and fence posts that looked like cupcakes piled high with frosting.