Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday in the Park with Ice and Snow

THIS every step of today's hike. 
I bailed on hiking yesterday because I do not like cold rain. And that's what was happening when I woke up. Apparently others are not so wimpy as you can see by the frozen over tracks on the trail. My hiking buddy for today suggested we wait until later in the day for some thaw but I have a train to catch before the next snowstorm hits so waiting was not an option for me.

I decided to make one loop of the white trail (4.25 miles) and just go as best I could. It was probably my slowest time on the White Trail but the hike had it's benefits. It was slow going over the existing impressions. They had frozen over so in addition to not being able to place my foot flat anywhere it was slippery. I could have walked on new snow around the tracks but I dislike going off the trail in any conditions. It's bad for the surrounding area for lots of reasons and future erosion is a big one.

So I stayed on the trail bumpy ice and all. It was a good workout for my ankles, knees, hips and feet. They were buzzing pretty good by the end. This was a hike were uphill was just as challenging as downhill. Going downhill I could go heel first to find footing. If I took smaller steps and placed my foot just right in an existing boot mark the icy rim would keep me from slipping. On flatter terrain I could flat foot it most of the way. The only way to propel yourself uphill, though is to dig in and push. Without traction that was really tough. Heel first on the uphill was going to be an Achilles tendon nightmare. I am pleased to say that I managed the entire hike without touching ground with hands, face or butt! It was good practice for the rocky portions of other trails (most of them) in PA. The icy spots were good practice for wet rocky trails.

Along they way I could see why some folks like hiking or trekking poles. I still don't think I want to use them though. I managed without and they'd annoy me having to carry them on spots where I don't need them.

Keep smiling and keep moving

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