Monday, January 14, 2008

Soggy Snow Can't Stop the Spirit

hikers rest against snowy backdrop
SPW hikers take a break in the pavilion
We would have preferred less soggy snow. We really wanted a lot more snow. But we hiked anyway.

Six members of the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association met at West Shore Community College Saturday morning for the monthly hike. There wasn't enough snow to bother with either skis or snowshoes, so we just walked the trails.

First the group explored the Nature Trail loops around the pond. The north loop isn't as well maintained as the south loop, but the mix of tree species fascinated the retired forester of our group. Hemlock and beech are intermixed with poplars and black cherry. Several of us promised ourselves to return in the spring to see the marsh marigolds which cover the floodplain of the South Branch of the Lincoln River with their gold.
enjoying the fireplace
a cozy rest spot
After that part of the walk we met at the picnic pavilion, built a fire in the fireplace, ate our lunches, and popped some popcorn. The three dogs who accompanied us helped clean up any that we spilled. And four of us stayed longer to hike the loops of the cross-country race course which winds through a field and the woods on the east side of campus.

You'll always hear us saying "a sloppy day on the trail is better than a dry day on the couch!"

Join us next month, February 9, at Big M. Ski or snowshoe (along the trail edges) at 10 am, and Rich's famous chili feed will follow in the warming shelter at noon. There's no charge for lunch, and the event is open to everyone. Big M asks for an $8 donation to ski if you are able.

by Joan H. Young
See Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association
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