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So as not to repeat myself excessively, I am reducing the amount of description of trails that have already been posted. Please use the search function ( upper left) to find older posts which have more detailed trail descriptions and pictures. You can also use this to find specific hikes either by trail or mountain.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

12/31/13 City Forest

Brrrr. Below zero and overcast when we got up. I stalled ( Kelley came to me several times wanting to do something)  'till it reached 3 degrees and then we went to City Forest, thinking that would be our best chance of finding some trails that had had some use.

We started from the Kittredge Rd. parking lot and took the West Trail. There had been a surprising number of skiers and snowshoers so the walking wasn't bad. Once we got moving I was comfortable as there was no wind.

Still lots of ice around

Part way down the trail the snowshoers went off on another trail and the walking became a bit more difficult for me. Kelley was fine as she walks down one of the ski tracks. At the end of West we went down to the rail bed but there had been little use and the crust was not reliable. Kelley laid down in the snow and watched until I gave up. We took the Main and Loop Roads back and near the end met our first people of the day - a couple and their dog -and  Kelley got to play a bit.

I found these leaves still hanging on.

By the end the sun was out and it had warmed up to 7 degrees. A pretty good hike- the snow and woods were pretty and we had the place to ourselves until near the end which made it very quiet. 1  3/4 hours

Monday, December 30, 2013

12/30/13 Neighborhood

Ten inches of new snow. Kelley was happy about this- I less so. We went for a short walk around the neighborhood before I cleared the drive and the another walk  after the drive. There were lots of folks out clearing their drives and Kelley had to greet them all. After lunch she let me know she wanted to go out again. I let her out but she wanted to walk not just be outside so off we went again. This time her friend Homer was outside and she got to play with him.

They do very well together and have done so since they first met. I think this helped make up for the fact that we didn't get to do a real hike today.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

12/29/13 Walden Park

Another storm for this afternoon and tonight- freezing rain ( up to 1/4 inch of ice)  and snow (8-10 inches) so we went to nearby Walden in the morning. Weren't sure what we would find as I had checked from the parking lot the day after the ice storm and no one had been on the trails and it looked very slick and we skipped it. To day we found there had been skiers and snow shoe folks and the crust mostly supported me- with some exceptions - for Kelly, of course, it was fine. What was amazing was the number of trees bent over the trails- the ice from the last storm has still not melted. I have hiked here over many years and have never seen anything like it.

Still lots of ice on everything

We took the Loop Trail to the rail bed and as it's wider and more open there were less trees over the path. When we first reached it , however, there was a pretty good tangle.

We went in the direction of Essex Woods, hoping that when we got to the part where the snowmobile trail comes onto the rail bed there would be a nice walking surface. Instead there had been no snowmobiles and only a single ski track from before the last little snow. The crust was still pretty good and we continued for a bit until Kelley stopped and lay down. This was very unusual so we turned back- she was fine again and apparently was telling me she didn't want to go on ??? We went back the way she likes- the snowmobile trail and then a short trail over to the Loop Trail. Again, no one had been on these trails. We met no one today which is a little unusual for a Sunday.

Not he best of conditions but an interesting hike and we got an hour and a half of exercise and  missed the storm.

12/28/13 City Forest

This was a hike with our friend Faith and her dogs, Roxie and Gus. Some sun but mostly cloudy. We took the West Trail to the old rail bed, walked that a bit toward Forest Ave. , turned back and took Main Rd, Loop Rd, and back on West . The footing was mostly good with some break through the crust surprises on the rail bed. The dogs all seemed to enjoy the outing and there was lots of exploring. I mostly tried to get pictures of the three dogs together but that mostly happens when food is involved. The woods are still very pretty as the ice and snow have yet to melt- more predicted for the week end.

Roxie at a rare stationary moment - she is a very active dog.

Faith passing out goodies

Together - but Gus is facing the other way

Gus running toward me

All ahead of us

This picture was taken by Faith- I'm passing out peanuts . She thinks the camera under my coat makes me look like I have a big gut.

A pleasant hike - pretty surroundings, good company, happy dogs. 2  12 hours.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

12/27/13 Cadillac Mountain Auto Road

This road off the park loop road is closed in winter, along with most of the loop road . Snowmobiles can use it and usually pack the snow to make a nice walking surface. We parked at the gated entrance and walked up to the loop road where we were stopped by a ranger and given a warning about having a dog off leash. With Kelley on leash we continued  to the auto road and started up. We were passed by  four  snowmobiles but this last snow was the fluffy kind and did not pack so they were not much help.

The weather and the light were very variable, from completely gray, to partially cloudy, to sunny and back again. The ice and snow were  still very pretty and I took a lot of pictures and then had a hard time editing so there are more than necessary in this post. Mostly just pictures of the road and some views

Eagle Lake

Coming into the summit parking lot

Bar Harbor from the summit

and looking south

Heading back down - it was windy and colder up there.

Close up of some of the ice

Two of the four  snowmobiles stopped to give Kelley a pat- she seems to understand them now and when she hears one coming she moves to the side and lays down to wait for them to pass. We also met a man running up the mountain ( he had moved here from Georgia ) and then another ranger on a snowmobile who asked about fallen trees- there were none. Mostly we had the mountain to ourselves. We did meet more people on the loop road as we got close to our car It had been a pretty good hike in a 'winter wonderland '  3  3/4 hours

Thursday, December 26, 2013

12/26/13 City Forest

We woke to snow, 9 degrees, and another 'winter storm warning'. Not wanting to do a long drive for uncertain conditions we went to nearby City Forest. We did the West Trail , parts of the rail bed, Main Rd., and Loop Rd. After the last two  cold days the crust was even harder and walking was easy and we  met a few people which made Kelley happy.

Some of what we saw.

The West Trail

The ice has not melted

Because of the harder crust we got on the part of the rail bed we missed last time. This area is more marshy/boggy.

On our way back we passed the path down to the beaver pond and Kelley wanted to take it. I knew it would be frozen but we went anyway and, of course,  she was disappointed.

She didn't want to leave and so as I waited for to accept the situation I got a couple of pictures

She eventually got up and we went back to the car. The gray was quite a contrast to the sun we had yesterday but we still had an enjoyable two hour hike.

12/25/13 Park Loop Rd. and Hunters Brook

Beautiful sunny day with the icy trees sparkling with the sunshine on the drive over. Temperature when we started was 16 degrees with a strong wind, and 17 degrees when  we finished. Most of the time we were protected from the wind by the trees. Which did not have ice.

Worst wind was in the open area at Otter Cove.

This is a very nice section of the road because much of it is very close to the shore. Last time we tried it we were stopped by the deep snow that no one had packed down. Today there had been both snowmobile and foot traffic ( though not in the last day or two) and a thick crust that supported me even where there had been no traffic- easy walking.

Some of the ice on the rock wall near the start

Some views

We followed the road to just past where it passes under Rte. 3 to the Hunters Brook Trail Head. No one had been on it and I was thinking about it -Kelley likes this trail and had already decided but waited for me.

I decided to do a part of it.

Hunters Brook

 Kelley , of course, got into the stream but then had a hard time getting out because of the ice

We did a nice piece of the trail but then turned back. I was concerned that Kelley would get herself into the water where I would end up breaking ice to help her out- it's happened before

Back on the Loop Rd.

Almost back

It had been a nice hike. Pretty and quiet ( we met no one the whole hike)  and mostly we were out of the wind. 3  1/4 hours