Morris gave me the look as I started gathering my things together to go for a walk. I was hoping that the recent warm weather and refreezing had produced the wonderful ice falls formations by 'the cave'.
So I gathered my backpack, snow shoes, and camera and got ready to head out the door.
Morris nagged me until I relented and decided to let him come along. We were getting an early enough start that I thought he could stay walking on the top of the snow crust and not break through. The last time we'd gone for a long hike he was really wiped out when we got home.
It wasn't long into the hike that I realized that it wasn't going to be easy for either of us. Despite the weather forecast of cold, the March sun was warming things up very quickly.
We decided to use advantage of the snow mobile trail and go with some easy walking even if it was pretty slippery.
In the woods the snow was still over knee deep in many places. The south facing hillsides though were nearly bare with pockets of snow here and there.
I came across the 'infamous' deer stand which I like to refer to as my outdoor office.
I figured from here that I'd cut through the woods and we'd be right near the large ravine with the 'cave like' formations in it.
Little did I know that my shortcut was going to be some of the worst hiking possible in snow shoes.
The ice crust was 'rotten' and I kept breaking through. Morris and I followed a deer trail the best I could.
Morris could get through the underbrush and I had to go around.
I kept having to climb over downed trees and kept getting tripped up.
The sun was getting warm and I was getting hot and frustrated.
When we got to the old hill road that leads by the cave, I was too exhausted to be disappointed by the lack of ice falls.
Morris however was his usual Jack Russell self. He was raring to go while I was looking for a place to sit down and have a drink of water.
My timing for the ice falls must have been off. Either they had formed and melted already or they were in the process of forming some more with the melts during the day and freezes at night.
I may have missed them.
So we took a long walk down the snowmobile trail and up the valley along the creek towards home.
I checked my GPS and we'd gone 2.39 miles. I haven't pulled off the elevation charts yet but I can solidly say that the hills and grades we were on were steep.
The trip although pretty tough on this 'old' lady and old dog was still worth it. I won't forget standing on the trail and quietly watch 3 deer eat in the open field while Morris and I looked on.
Or the cursing, tripping, and even...oh yeah, falling into the deep snow...and then having to plunge my hand down up to my elbow to try and right myself back upright.
But the weather was nice and mild compared to what we've dealt with all year so far.