“Dashing” Through The Snow

Now that Helen and I are entrenched into our weekly hiking schedule on the Bruce Trail, I might be at risk of overloading my blog with posts about our hikes as we explore the many side trails.

I just can’t resist the temptation when some days stand out … like our most recent adventure.  It had snowed overnight and there was a thin carpet of snow covering – well, everything.

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This was our first hike in snow in a very long time and we had forgotten some important details … like our winter hiking boots.  Neither of us were wearing them.

Quite frankly I just didn’t think it was cold enough to justify it … but I had failed to factor in how WET snow becomes.  Before long, we both had soggy, wet feet.

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The morning was quite chilly when we started out, with frost hanging in the air that created a fog-like haze, and all the tree branches were dusted with snow.  It was so beautiful.

By mid-morning however, we were faced with another reality check.  As the sun came out and the temperature started to climb, all the snow on the trees began to melt.  Soon it felt like hiking in the rain as we were pelted by large wet drops dripping from the branches.  Now, in addition to wet feet, I had wet hair and a jacket that was getting increasingly damp.

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The side trail we decided to explore was through the Hilton Falls Conservation Area and we quickly discovered that the snow was not going to make this an easy hike.

There was not enough snow to cover the rocky terrain and soften out its sharp edges.  On the flip side, there was enough snow to disguise the hazards and make them very slippery.

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We picked our way up, down, over, and around miles and miles of rock.  Our pace was excruciatingly slow, and ultimately we decided to turn around before we reached our intended halfway point.

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I really like waterfalls and I was looking forward to seeing Hilton Falls on this hike.

I was surprised to discover that it’s only a modest little waterfall at the base of the Escarpment with the remnants of a former mill from the 1800s nearby.

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The most surprising discovery however was a campfire still smoldering at the top of the Escarpment.  We hadn’t encountered anyone in our travels and at 10 am it almost implied that someone had camped here overnight.

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Poor Helen had decided to hike in spite of having a very bad cold and she finished the four and a half hour hike with a nose looking more like Rudolph.

Tired and wet, we dragged ourselves back to our waiting car and a thermos of hot chocolate.  It was a challenging day, but I’ve come to appreciate that any day spent doing something outdoors is worth the effort.  It is a delicious kind of tired.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Active Lifestyle, Nature, Outdoor Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to “Dashing” Through The Snow

  1. reocochran says:

    Your post was full of beautiful snowy natural settings! Talk about a Winter Wonderland!

    Like

  2. I had my typical first reaction to the snow – “Awesome!” but you did a good job of pointing out the downside. Fabulous photos – making my feet itch for the great outdoors. And like others, I too love that “deliciously tired” feeling.

    Like

  3. beeblu says:

    “It’s a delicious kind of tired” – indeed. On the days I play golf, walking the course, I have the best sleeps.

    I wouldn’t even begin to know how to hike in snow.

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  4. jannatwrites says:

    I’m cold just reading about that hike! I would agree that time spent outside is worth it. I know I feel a difference when other things take away from my outdoor time 🙂

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  5. badfish says:

    These are gorgeous photos. But I have two comments: one, hiking in November in snow without boots. Really, girl? And two, what kind of nincompoop leaves a campire smoldering in a forest like that?

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    • joannesisco says:

      In our defense, we were wearing trail shoes … just summer-weight ones … and yes, in hindsight it was an error in judgement :/ Mistakes were made {hanging my head}

      … and I completely agree with you about the fire! It appears there is no end of stupid things that people will do.

      Like

      • badfish says:

        Well, I would have probably done the same thing, because I so much more like my trail shoes than clunky heavy boots. I haven’t hiked in snow in years, decades really…mostly desert. But a campfire! unacceptable, I learned that in Cub Scouts when I was 8 years old! Those guys obviously were never cub scouts

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  6. chattykerry says:

    Wow! Fantastic photographs that summon up winter feelings. Way too cold for me though…just been out walking off Thanksgiving lunch and it is hot ‘n humid in southern Texas. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Like

  7. Corina says:

    I have never hiked in the snow but I am thinking that I need to do that so if we get some snow this winter, I’m going to bundle up and put on my boots and go out for a short hike!

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  8. Great attitude despite wet feet and heads. Lovely pictures and, yes, any day outside in nature is a good day. 🙂

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  9. NancyTex says:

    Ugh, wet feet really are uncomfortable. 😦 Still, you had some really beautiful scenery, and you got quite the workout in!

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    • joannesisco says:

      No question about the workout.
      It’s funny how every hike seems to follow the same pattern – start off with boundless energy and enthusiasm. Settle in to a comfort pace.
      Start to notice there’s considerably less bounce in the step.
      Finish with a groan and deep sense of gratitude when the boots are pulled off.

      Like

      • NancyTex says:

        Yep, that’s how my hikes always go, too. That is, unless I’m at fat camp, where they are relentless. I feel completely deflated by how others have the stamina to continue at the same (or faster) pace 2 hours in as when they started – and inexplicably feel the need to keep up, even at my own peril. I’m stupid like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Heyjude says:

    I am really enjoying your hikes Jo, I wish I was able to join you for real, being ‘deliciously tired’ is a good feeling. Though I must admit I really dislike wet and cold feet!

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  11. Sue Slaght says:

    Joanne I love the phrase ‘ a delicious kind of tired’. Such a gorgeous hike but do be careful. I felt like I was slipping along beside you through your eloquent explanation.

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  12. Lynn says:

    I am super jealous of you being able to enjoy the gorgeous day yesterday. As I drove to work, the freshly fallen snow took my breath away. I was wishing I could have just gone for a beautiful walk through the woods. I shall have to live vicariously through your hikes & your beautiful photos!

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  13. You can never take enough pictures when you are hiking. Believe it or not, I wear hiking boots in the wintertime each and every time I walk the dogs. No more wet socks for me 🙂

    The pictures are gorgeous. Oh I wish I would live closer, I would love to go on a hiking trip with you and Helen.

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  14. Sammy D. says:

    Such a lesson in being prepared!! We, too, forgot the boots last week and ‘slid’ through mud and muck from melted snow. I love your photos of this hike; it looks every bit as difficult as you describe. I’m a tad alarmed anyone would leave a campfire without ensuring it is completely snuffed; if they do it now, would they be so careless in drier terrain or season?!? Yikes!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      We’re having to re-learn things like how to dress for colder temperatures – hats, gloves, etc. We tend to forget exactly what “freezing” feels like on the trail for several hours. Making a mistake by being unprepared makes for a miserable day.

      I was rather alarmed too that a fire would be abandoned without ensuring it was properly smothered. Helen broke it up the best we could. It seemed to do the job because on our return trip, it was no longer smoldering.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. treerabold says:

    Beautiful photos.
    I really hate being cold….but I can see the joy of hiking on this trail….hot or cold.
    I look forward to following your weekly hiking adventures

    Like

  16. mickscogs says:

    So Beautiful – I’m dreaming of snow right now, not this horrid weather we are having. I don’t like short daylight hours much – you can keep them. The crazy thing is, on the way home from work, the weather report said it may snow above 1500 m tomorrow! Crazy.

    Like

  17. hilarymb says:

    Hi Joanne – love the photos … but cold wet feet – no thank you! Good for you though – you’re improving your lives, showing us some lovely shots of your part of the world. You don’t mention if you found the ‘owners’ of the camp fire – probably not by the sound of it … good for them though … Lovely post – cheers Hilary

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    • joannesisco says:

      No – we didn’t see anyone except on the return trip. When we reached the falls the 2nd time, a rough terrain cyclist was pulling in at the same time (they have different trails than the hikers).
      That fire is still a puzzle. I could smell the smoldering smoke before we actually found it.

      Like

  18. RuthsArc says:

    Lovely photos of your first snow. An interesting walk but oh, wet feet, clothes and hair. A walk you’ll remember I think.

    Like

  19. Paula says:

    Absolutely gorgeous snow photos! So pretty, yet so challenging to walk in – you’d never know just by looking, eh? Lovely.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      First snow is always pretty because it’s so clean and fresh … although in the forest it doesn’t get as grungy as the snow in the city does over time.

      I love hiking the rocky terrain – but it gets really tiring before long … and that’s when tripping and falling becomes a bit hazard!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. bikerchick57 says:

    You both have my admiration of total dedication to the hike. I might have turned around with wet feet, long before you did. Bravo!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I’m “lucky” that my extremities get very warm when I’m physically active. I hike and run without gloves in the winter once I’m warmed up. I can get some odd looks in the dead of winter.
      My feet weren’t cold, but I really don’t like the feel of wet feet!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Lovely. I felt as if I was right there with you!

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  22. Never enough about your hikes for me! I especially admire the fact that you two will hike in snow – my fear of slipping on icy rocks or stepping into one of the many crevices on the Bruce Trail, means we’ve hung up our hiking poles for the season. Great photos!

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    • joannesisco says:

      It’s definitely a different kind of hiking. Now that I finally got to experience the joy of hiking during autumn, there is no question that hiking in snow pales in comparison!

      I don’t know if your journey has taken you around the Kelso area yet. When planning this hike I was checking the BT website for trail reroutes and discovered that the entire Kelso area has now been closed until mid-April. Apparently they have to do a lot of tree clearing because of the Elm Ash Borer beetle. So sad.

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  23. Glazed says:

    If you’re not tired and miserable, you’re not having any fun. I’ve lived in upstate New York, and found that the best time of year to hike is in the winter, when all the thick brush is dead and clear. It’s especially nice when there’s a hard crust on the snow. Then you can go anywhere. I love the pictures. Beautiful.

    Like

  24. I hate wet feet but it appears that your hike was well worth it! I’ve never lived where it snowed and haven’t really spent much time in the snow (that must sound very odd to someone who lives where snow is a yearly occurrence) so it’s hard to imagine the scene you described. Fortunately, I can enjoy your pictures from the warmth of my living room.

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  25. Wet feet are the worst! As always, I admire your bravery and more so whoever camped out there overnight!

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