Report to Hikers: week of Feb 2-8

Hello Hikers!

Wed Feb 4

Chestnut Lean-to, Danby SF
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This was a work-group hike in to the lean-to to get it ready for Saturday’s hot dog cookout. Actually it was a lot of fun, not work — we were all in high spirits and the chores weren’t very hard and they didn’t take very long.
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I’d say everyone else did more than me — I hate work and I always try to avoid it — at least I did a little. We had three saws with us and we sawed up and carried in a huge pile of wood for Saturday’s fire.
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Part of our goal was to pack down the trail in to the lean-to by walking in with snowshoes. I’ve had a pair for some years but this was the first time I ever walked up and down steep slopes in them. I was a bit out of control and I fell a few times but not in a serious way. There was fresh snow on the trail and the scenery was extraordinary — if you want to see scenes like this the only way is by snowshoe or ski; the snow was much too deep for walking.
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Official head count: 12 hikers, one dog

Click here to see six more photos by me online.

Click here to see photos by Jack V at our group photo sharing site.


Sat Feb 7

Hot Dog Cookout, Chestnut Lean-to, Danby SF

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We managed to get a decent morning in what’s been a string of nasty ones, and our cookout was a great success. We had one last-minute false alarm — it started snowing pretty hard shortly before hike time, and the roads were starting to coat up — but it didn’t last long. When we arrived, the trampled path we’d created three days before was full of new snow, but a number of us had snow shoes, and the base we’d laid down underneath was very solid.
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As promised, this year’s fire was fantastic — though a bit smoky at first, and then for a while so hot we had to vacate the log benches that circle it — there was certainly no way any one of us was cold.
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Lots of hot dogs — little bottles of various kinds of firewater — a huge amount of desserts — enough food for 5X as many people as we had. Official head count: 20 hikers, two dogs.
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Some of the group went off for a hike on snowshoes into the fresh powder while the fires burned down. I didn’t go myself but the report was that it was beautiful.

On the way home we passed the chili festival on the Commons, really jam-packed — I’ve been to the chili festival several times and our cookout was 10X more fun.
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Click here to see nine more photos by me online.

Click here to see photos by Jack V on our online group photog web site.


Sun Feb 8

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home

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Beautiful mild grey morning along Fall Creek — we were supposed to get hit by the leading edge of the big storm but it arrived later, and the light in the sky and the quality of the air as the bad weather approached was lovely.

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I thought we’d need to break our own trail, and six of us had on snowshoes, but there was actually a nice network of paths broken in by skiers — good thing, the snow was exhaustingly deep where it wasn’t trampled down.

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But for all the ski tracks, we saw only a very few skiers — this beauty looked like she’d just flown in from Vail — I wouldn’t mind getting a few babes like this into our group — we’d all need to get flashier, tighter outfits first — actually the young lady looks so incongruous against our plain-spun group you’d think I photoshopped her in (don’t know how).

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I initially thought we’d walk in the upper horse fields but when we got there, the woods seemed more attractive, so we headed right back under the trees after milling around for a minute while I got a few shots.

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I’ve never walked for two hours in snowshoes before — I expected to feel tired after but I didn’t, and it was really fun.

Official head count: 13 hikers, three dogs.

Click here to see six more photos by me online.