Monday Feb 12
This was an extra hike for us — I scheduled it in a mistaken belief Feb 12 was a national holiday
Yellow Barn SF, Freeville — snowmobile trails
Normally a snowmobile trail makes for an excellent walking surface when snow conditions are otherwise bad, but not this time. The surface was frozen solid and treacherously slippery, and full of little ruts and bumps; there were even frozen deep horse hoofprints.
The group was very fragmented by the end. Several people turned back early and others fell behind. We came upon this beautiful dark pine woods almost back at the cars and I couldn’t resist trying a group shot, even if the group was small.
Official head count: 14H, four D
Wed Feb 14
Shindagin Hollow SF, Braley Hill Road — snowmobile trail heading west — followed by Valentine’s party at Steve and Diane’s in Ellis Hollow
The snowmobile trail was much more walkable two days later, softer on top and not so bumpy — we spent the whole walk in the thick woods — the scenery was slightly monotonous and bland, but very atmospheric
Here’s what passed for excitement:
We detoured onto an active logging road for a while in hopes of seeing the site of the logging operation itself — this road surface was much worse — it turned into a bit of a grind so we turned back without reaching our goal.
One mishap — Vicki suddenly broke through the snow without any warning — she went sprawling but I didn’t choose to get a photo of that — here she is demonstrating the depth of the hole — probably could have hurt herself if she’d been unlucky
We had a delightful Valentine’s party — I ate a very weird mix of things — my stomach was griping ominously after I got home
Toward the end of the get-together, there was an announcement that one of the couples was about to mark their 50th wedding anniversary. Everyone knew about this beforehand except the couple, who’d been kept uninformed.
This is the long-enduring couple:
Thanks so much to all the hikers who put money into the gift — it was much too generous. We were very very touched
Official head count at the party: 22
Saturday Feb 17
Road walk — Hosenfeld Road and Carley Road, Odessa, Schuyler County
Sunday Feb 18
Farm road walk — Fairfield Road and Barden Road, Candor, Tioga County
We didn’t manage to escape slippery walking conditions after all. The road at the meet-up hadn’t been plowed clean of the overnight snow — the Candor town crew threw down cinders instead of salt — there were lots of slick spots — one hiker who got a knee replacement in the fall turned back immediately out of caution — another hiker fell, but in a slow, controlled and graceful way and there was no damage
Later in the day I saw an e-mail on the nordic ski list-serv — near Kennedy SF in Virgil, one of our best hikes, there was 2″-4″ of new snow on top of 4″-6″ old snow — we’ll need to see a lot of melting this week before we can get back out into the deep woods.
Official head count: 22H, eight D