Before setting out on this hike, I did two things.
First, I looked back to our March 24, 2013 hike. What a difference a Polar Vortex makes! One year ago we were hiking on dry ground, admiring the early daffodils. Today we crunched over a landscape still thickly blanketed in snow!
Secondly, I did a little reconnaissance trip to check out our planned route, which included an exciting feature called the “Hole in the Wall.” Not surprisingly, the famed “Hole” was a treacherous bone-breaker featuring thick layers of glistening ice. So, the Ladies quickly re-routed and jumped north one section. The “Hole” will entice us later in the spring when it is more civilized.
Setting out from Scotsdale Farm, we donned the latest high-tech foot appliances to ensure safety. Here is Julie modelling her Monster Bulldog Chain-Gang Cramponator:
Note everyone was quite so high-tech, however:
The most striking feature of today’s hike was the devastation wrought upon the poor trees by December’s ice storm. The melting snow reveals tortured, broken branches littering the forest floor and the full extent of the damage strewn all around.
It was our first full sunny day of hiking in months. Everyone recharged their solar batteries, and spirits were running high.
We didn’t forget to look around and admire all the easily-overlooked beauty within the forest.
We encountered many bridges on this hike. Every bridge was solid, sturdy and handsome. Kudos to the bridge-builders of the Toronto Club.
One of the delights of spring is the sound of water rippling in a creek. This hike was punctuated by many streams and creeks, all gurgling happily over rocks and stones and under snow bridges. A feast for the eyes and ears!
We were constantly impressed by all the tree-cutting that had taken place to keep the trail open. Many dedicated folks with chainsaws had obviously spent hours cutting the downfall. We are grateful for their hard work!
Lunch time! What a treat to sit outside on a snowy day and be warm! We enjoyed a leisurely lunch. No shivering, no rushing to start hiking before toes go dead and fingers turn into claws. In fact, there was general agreement that we could have stretched out for a post-meal nap. (N.B. napping not allowed under Limestone Ladies Act: Section 4b, Paragraph 3, line 27.)
Sometimes people ask me why we are doing this. As the end of the hike drew near, I reflected on this question. We were warm, happy, sun-saturated and mellow. We had just spent a day taking deep breaths of fresh, crisp air and gazing at nature’s beauty in every direction. We strengthened our bodies and nourished our souls. All this in the company of the best group of women on the planet. Need I say more?
Now as for that poor creature with her home made Yaktrax. How did she fare, you might ask?
Double hike coming up in April, Ladies! See you then!