This week—eight weeks after the winter solstice—we took a bonus hike to experience both the near-record low temperatures followed by near-record highs two days later.
First, the cold hike, which took place on Valentine’s Day.
The thermometer read -15°F when I got up that morning, but it was a balmy 6°F when we went hiking in the afternoon.
We didn’t wear snowshoes because we’d not gotten any more snow since the previous week’s hike, and the snow was all packed down and icy from all of the other hikers, snowshoers, and skiers who’d used the path after we did. My daughter and I did, however, wear traction devices on our boots, which means we didn’t slip and slide like my son and my spouse did.
For the record, even though it’s not a negative number, 6°F is pretty cold.
My daughter pointed out that the condensed breath on the fabric of my face protector had turned to frost. I broke my no-selfie rule to see for myself.
We saw weird snow mounds at the beaver pond:
At the river, the ice was pretty sweet and covered with a thin layer of drifted snow.
There we saw muskrat tracks (at least we think they’re muskrat tracks; most of the ones we see online show the tail drag. Maybe these are from a mink?)…
…and a bird of prey.
On the way back we left some snow art for the next snow trekkers.
Visit the next post to see the warm hike we took two days later.