Breaking Trail Was Order of the Day in Powdery Snow
It was tough; it was really tough, at least until we hit the cat track for the last mile of the day.
The day started off with three of us leaving 4Bs at 8:30 a.m.; we got on trail before 10 a.m. at temperatures hovering around zero but to sunny skies. We found that the trail had not been broken. A skier had been on the trail a few days back, but the tracks were now covered with snow. Then when we left the O'Brien Creek trail, no one had been on this section at all. The snow was very powdery but with no base, so we often broke through the thin crust.
June and Katie traded off breaking trail with the snow to our thighs at times. Both Katie and Gail broke through and fell in all the way, while June managed to stay upright the entire day. The whole way challenged us mentally as we were trying to keep from sinking all the way down with each step, trying to step one snowshoe in front of the other to prevent falling.
By the time we hit the cat track at the base of the Powerline, we were grateful for the hard-packed snow, even as we faced the steep uphill climb to get back to our cars.
We saw two snowmobile at the end of our day, but otherwise, it was a gloriously calm, quiet day under cloudless sunny skies. We enjoyed seeing all of the tracks in the snow: snowshoe hare, squirrel, deer, elk and a cat or two around the bunny tracks. Unfortunately, besides a chipmunk and some ravens, we didn't see any critters.
We ended the day at Bob's bar for some hot cocoa topped with whipping cream, where we quizzed Tony on how to get to arch that he had in some pictures posted on his photo wall. He shared that to get to the arch, we would head toward Hughesville, turn right toward Barker and then take trail 739 for about two miles. This sounds like a great summer hike; or maybe we will try it this winter.