Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hiking with...just me.

Sometimes the outside just calls out to you. I thought it would be nice to get in a nice fast and hard hike to the back valley. I wanted to see what the snow melt, the rains, and the sudden freeze did to the ice 'cave' and other spots.
I have some friends coming to visit this weekend and they'd like to see some water, ice, and ice formations on their hikes.

They are not afraid of cool or cold weather.

Like me, they know how to dress for it and enjoy the fact that there are no bugs to contend with in the winter. There is no oppressive heat or humidity either.

And I don't have to worry about 'doing' my hair.
A fox hat works just fine and when the cold winds blow, I let down the fur flaps. I do get a kick out of feeling the fox tail wiggle around as I walk. Makes me feel as if I have a pony tail [which I don't...I keep my hair short right now].

The woods with north facing hillsides had a hard slippery crunchy snow cover. Any coyote or other wildlife could've heard me coming for a long ways.
The ridge top was wind blown and frozen with no snow on it. Not good for anyone with alfalfa fields. But there I was!

I was headed down into the back valley, where the sun doesn't shine most of the winter.

I was not disappointed!, ice! Everywhere on little rocks where the water splashed and on bits of grasses and roots that hung over the side of the creek bank.

And to my delight, I had arrived at just the right time to catch the reflection of the sun on the hillside lighting up the back valley creek.

You can see where the snow is gone from the edges of the creek. That is how full the creek was on Monday when it was raining. I wouldn't have been able to cross it at all during that time.

I knew that I didn't have much light left so I hurried along the side of the creek and started the climb out of the valley. I was curious if the water had created an ice formation at 'the cave'.

I had a huge desire to go back down the side here and get a better shot. Common sense prevailed. I had no one with me and I had to get home. I could have gone back to the bottom of the run and walked up, but that would take too long and I'd have to back track.
So I hurried up the trail and crossed the ridge again dropping back down into the valley that our creek is on.

I hurried along the creek noting all of the beautiful little ice 'fingers' and formations along the way.

At the Sandy Wall, I stopped. The light was fading quickly in the creek bottom. But I just had to get a photo...of....

...more cool ice...

And I felt the temperature dropping. I looked at the compass thermometer that is attached to my backpack and it read 9 degrees.

Time to head home.

I took on look back before heading up the hill road....

The evening sun was lighting up the woods above me....

And as I crossed a field of ice, I felt joy and accomplishment in my afternoon hike. There was a self satisfaction that is hard to explain to those who don't venture out in cold weather or enjoy pushing themselves a bit. For me this was a treat better than a dinner at a fancy restaurant or night out.
I got to see mother nature in her afternoon winter's glory.

Some folks sure don't like winter.

But I love it.

With my handy dandy GPS running watch, I'd logged 4 1/2 miles of hiking. No mean feat across this landscape.

Man it was great!


  1. You found some beautiful formations and the sunset color on the creek are beautiful!

  2. I DON'T like winter, as in I don't go out in it unless I have to. I DO like winter, as in I love seeing shots of Mother Nature like these!

    Thank goodness for folks like you for taking pictures like these. THAT'S how I enjoy winter.