The snowy trail called my name this past Saturday. The sun filled sky, the brisk, cold air, and the white blanket of winter made the trek memorable and enjoyable. I put on my long underwear, my down jacket, my mittens, and winter hat (along with my normal hiking stuff) and headed for the park. Twin Creek MetroPark is one of my favorite trekking places in the area. There were not many hikers sharing the beautiful day with me – I passed only four kindred spirits in 7 hours. I did meet a cross country skier and followed the tracks of a person wearing some ice trekkers – kind of like the chains we used to put on cars growing up in W. Va. Only these are made for your shoes. Interested? The tracks looked a lot like the Kako ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction System sold at REI (www.rei.com/product /806475/kako-icetrekkers-diamond-grip-traction-system/) (I know…I am such a gear freak).
Wildlife of the Day: my animal exposure was not very wild. In addition to a few very cold birds, I came face to face (twice) with a great looking Basset Hound. My sister, who owns a dachshund who thinks its a prize hunting dog, would have loved this beautiful pup. When he saw me, he immediately went into the perfect point position. The great floppy ears of the basset made him look quite distinguished but not very intimidating. His true nature came bubbling out when I flashed my friendly smile, offered an open hand of peace, and quipped, “Hey pup, how are you doing?” His whole back end began to wiggle as he bounced up the trail to greet me.
My adversity, or should I say my adventure, came in the form of really cold feet. Despite the snow I decided to hike in sandals. I hoped that a thick pair of socks would do the trick. They did not. About a mile or so into the journey, my feet were very uncomfortable. I almost turned around and sought the warmth of my Civic. Instead, I decided to try an experiment. I took my socks off, got a dry pair of thin socks out of my 32 pound backpack, put plastic Kroger bags over the thin socks and then replaced my REI Explorer socks over the bags. It might have been a placebo effect or a psychosomatic reaction but immediately my feet felt warmer. Within 10 minutes I could feel my toes again, wiggle them without pain, and decided to plow my way through the wintery, white trail. Eighteen miles later, my toes were getting numb again but overall I was a fan of the plastic bag.
Twin Creek Photo: http://www.metroparks.org/Parks/TwinCreek/Home.aspx