This weekend Ohio decided that it was winter. Weather apps flashed scary red triangles. Everyone ran to the grocery store Friday night. Life went on.
By hiking time Saturday morning, it was cold; but the snow was only a constant dusting slowly accumulating into something bigger. I had thought that the temperature drop and the threat of snow might weed out the hikers, but I still had to park .6 mile (yes, I measured when I drove out) away from the starting point. I definitely got three plus miles in walking.
I used Saturday’s hike as an opportunity to test drive my winter hiking fashion find. The good people at Zulily.com swear it’s a dress, and on their stick thin models I was willing to believe that claim. On me, it’s a glorified Snuggie and I love it. Hooded, giant kangaroo pocket, and maxi length with slits up the side just in case I really want to put on dress boots and pretend I’m dressed for work. It’s also a million percent polyester, so it just generates its own heat. This “dress” completely solved the problem where everything covered by my coat is warm, but the wind still blows up under the back side of the coat, chilling my butt. I assure you my booty was toasty.
Saturday’s hike ended with a cup of bean soup and a cornbread muffin. It’s a simple thing but the treat at the end of each hike is gratifying. The volunteers and rangers are helpful and happy, and there’s usually a fire to cuddle around. I took a hot chocolate for my hike back to my car.
By today, Sunday, the snow really did come in as predicted. I think we got about 4-5 inches. However, the roads were clear for the afternoon hike, and the park was packed with people. The most evident non-human life were the geese in the middle of the lake yelling about all the dogs on the walk, and some vibrant lichen on a bridge.
I don’t know how to ski, but I suspect that cross country skis would have been really handy today. Even before the 2 o’clock start time, the snow on the paths was solidly packed and slick. I spent my alleged 3 miles (I think it was longer) slipping, penguin walking in little shuffles, and trying to jump into unpacked snow on the sides without also slipping into a lake.
It was a hungry, cold relief to make it to the end. The Prairie Oaks hike always makes a really thick chicken noodle soup, and from the looks of the crock pots, Adventure Buddy and I got the last two steaming, glorious cups.
Only 10 more hikes to go.