My first destination of the day...The Kadunce River. The wind was a solid 17mph and gusting to?? The temp was -4. Conditions were extreme to say the least. Needless to say I had so little time off and an ambitious adjenda that I just had to adapt to it. Once in the canyon the wind was not an issue. Looking up I could see the trees at the top of the canyon whipping back and forth but hardly a breath down below. I could see by the tracks that people had been up the river. Dog or maybe wolf tracks also. When I was almost to the first big cavern I saw a track that stopped me. Having been raised in Oregon I know what cougar tracks look like. At the age of nine I came face to face with one in my back yard. Looking at this track I knew it was very fresh and I was following him or her into a very narrow dark canyon. I weighed the odds and decided to continue but with caution and an eye to the cliffs. Damn if a deers butt on a cliff doesn't look like a cougar at first glance. I never did see the cat but found more tracks. He left the river towards the top. Talking to Dave he recounted a story of a friend that just saw one in Hovland. Just up the road from the Kadunce. They're out there. I canyoneered up to the put in and back and spent alot of time just enjoying the river. Beautiful start to a brutal day.