Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cold And Snowy

My latest trip to my favorite hiking trail was fun, but it was also cold and snowy. I could see at the entrance to the trail that this was going to be different. Winter has come early around here this year, but I haven't been out when it was quite this cold yet.

I've been dreading going out here in this cold weather, because I wasn't sure what I could write about. But I remember that it's not so much the writing that matters, it's the discovery of new things. There would definitely be something to discover here today.

I knew the things I would see on these nature trails would be different. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect though. Was I going to see any animals at all? If not, what kinds of things would be interesting to look at and to write about?

The first thing I noticed was, of course, the very cold air. I was bundled up pretty well, so I wasn't going to have to worry too much about the cold, but my face wasn't very well protected. My nose and my cheeks started to become painfully cold after about only a quarter of the way into the park.

I learned very quickly to cover my face with my gloved hands very frequently. That did a good job of warming me up for short periods. I wouldn't have to worry too much about the cold, but I realized that I might have to start looking for some longer term protection for my face before I came back out again.

The other thing I found out was that these trails were now very slippery with all of the snow on the ground. The snow was packed down from others that had been through here, and was now like a sheet of ice. I needed to be very careful in these conditions from now on.

I read about some chains that fit on your boots, that are specifically for hiking on ice and snow. They keep you from slipping and sliding. I'll have to look for them again. I hope they're not very expensive. The whole idea here is to do this on a very small budget. I want everyone to be able to enjoy this.

I hope to learn a lot about winter hiking as I go this year. So far I've learned that I need to be a little bit warmer. I also think I'm going to learn about paying closer attention to the smaller details of my surroundings. I'll have to take a closer look at certain other things, so that I can find some interesting things. I'm sure they're there.

The winter and the snow have changed things in a huge way for me and my everyday adventures. I can't go out if there is a snowstorm or if darkness falls too quickly for me. I have to choose my time a little more wisely. I hope I can do that. Maybe I'll do a little bit of research to find out some interesting solitary outdoor wintertime things to do.

Out here there were some very interesting sights to see, and there are plenty of things to write about. Animal sightings were few and far between. But that makes them more exciting when they happen. It's going to be fun coming up with new adventures for myself as the winter moves along. I can't wait to see what happens next!

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  1. Ratty, I agree that it's not so much the writing that matters, it's the discovery of new things.

    And there will be always new things around us.

  2. Hi

    I really appreciate your descriptions and thoughts as you go hiking.

    I can be a resource for winter hiking - I've been hiking in the winter (usually at night) for many years, far from any help. Two nights ago it was at -18 with a strong wind and ice under snow.

    For footwear I would suggest the slipons with the little pegs - they are about $20. If you are on slopes with ice, I would strongly recommend instep crampons, which are more expensive but potentially a lifesaver. Also, hiking poles are a great addition for any hiking, but especially for winter.

    I know you didn't ask, and I hope you don't mind the unsolicited advice. The truth is, it thrills me to know you are out there and enjoying things... :)

    Take care

  3. Oh, I envy the cold weather and snow you get to experience! It is 72 degrees here today with 93% humidity and a dense fog advisory. Yuck! Throw a snowball for me.

  4. "But I remember that it's not so much the writing that matters, it's the discovery of new things. "
    ---i agree, very well said. you actually share very well your hiking experience which i admire. also, i love your pictures, the second one especially looks very peaceful and pristine.

  5. You're right, Rainfield61, There will always be new things. I hope I can see some of them.:)

    Thanks MW, great advice. I'll check it all out. This is my first winter hiking, so I'm just learning what to do.

    Actually, I did, in a roundabout way, ask for the advice, so it's greatly appreciated. Thanks.:)

    Theeclelcticconnoiseur, sometimes I like the cold, and sometimes I don't. It does make it a little more difficult to do what I do sometimes though. There'll be snowballs aplenty!

    Thanks Betchai. The pictures are what helps me remember what happened out there. I like the second one too.

  6. Love the snow. However, we're having abnormally low temperatures here in San Francisco. The 40's during the day and low 30's at night so as much as I love snow I'm not to keen on the freezing temperatures.

  7. I can't imagine hiking in the snow and cold weather but the way you shared your hiking experienced did help me to imagine what you gone through on your adventure. Hopefully, one day i can hiking in the winter too, experienced something new is so exciting.

    Keep on your adventure and i am sure you will find more interesting and amazing things while you are on that nature trail. Nature have so much things to share with us. :)

  8. I completely agree on these freezing temperatures, Joanne. Wow, I never think of San Francisco as getting cold. We're only about ten degrees colder here, and it's been unusually cold for this time of year here..

  9. Hiking in the winter is a unique experience, Rose. Before this year, I never did it either. The first thing I found out was that I needed to dress warmer. If you read about all of the foolish mistakes I'll do and write about,I know you'll be ready when you have the chance to do it, and I think you'll get the chance.

    I think I'll find something interesting out there this winter. It's so new to me that I don't know what it will be yet. Thanks Rose.:)

  10. Oh man! I wish we had some snow! the entire country is in the grip of a good old fashioned winter storm, and it's 67 degrees here.

    Dont get me wrong, I like mild weather and all, but I like my winter to be wintery, and my summer to be summery, know what I mean? besides, isnt it great to take a walk in the snow at night? It seems like such a different place than it is during the day. Almost like someone installed a blanket of introspection into the scenery for you.

  11. Steve - I really love the snow too, but it's been a little bit of a hard transition for me this year. Our winter came much earlier this year than I can ever remember. In fact, we just got ten inches of snow this morning. I really like having snow for Christmas, but usually we don't get much until then. I think I'll get to learn a lot about snow this year. It ought to be fun tracking animals tomorrow.:)