Breaking Trail on Short Course Perfect for Newest GiG Members
hen we reached Silver Crest, we found the parking lot hadn't been plowed, so Camille and Gail, our drivers, had to make sure not to stop the cars as they squirreled their way though the deep snow or else they might not have been able to start again. Luckily, in the main lot area, enough cars had come through before us to pack the snow a bit.
By the time we used the facilities, geared up and got on trail just before 10 a.m., we realized the wind wasn't really blowing at all and the sun was starting to come out. However, we were all a bit chilled. But we warmed up quickly as we tromped through a few new inches of powder, all except Doris who had a bit of trouble with her hands and feet. Camillie had hand warmers that helped.
At first, the going was easy as the trail had been broken on the first half of the hike, the part leading to the warming hut. And even though it was early in the season, we only encountered one fallen tree that was still exposed, so we didn't really have much for obstacles: a rock here and there. We enjoyed seeing all of the rabbit, elk and deer tracks, but we were surprised with all of the bunny tracks that we didn't see any that belonged to cats, one of their main predators.
Our newer members didn't have any trouble handling the terrain or the distance. Both Carolyn (on her third snowshoe) and Viki on her first opted for the longer hike.
The sun did come out by the time we left the warming hut after a drink and a snack, just in time for our slight uphill climb. When we hit the main trail, Gail and Doris headed back to the cars while the rest of us (7) decided to tack on another 3/4 of mile to do the full outside circuit. This part wasn't broken at all, so Camille, Brenda, Bonnie and Katie took turns packing down the knee-deep fresh snow. Doris and Gail also had to break trail on their last third of a mile.
Because the snow hadn't been broken yet, we had to do a bit of trail-finding, searching for red diamonds from tree to tree. We had a few places with a moment of confusion, but nothing too drastic. It maybe took us 30 seconds to find the net diamond and pick up the trail again.
We got back to the cars after 2 hours and 40 minutes of hiking and headed to Bob's Bar in Neihart for lunch. (It was 12:40). At the restaurant, we talked to Tony who told us the sale of Bob's did go through to the couple from Texas but that he didn't' have to sell his house as part of the deal. We were all happy to hear that and promised we would visit him when we pass through to say "hi." It's sad to see him go after 36 years, but we were also glad he was able to sell. He is taking his first vacation to see his daughter for Christmas.
His last day will be Dec.7, with a party Dec. 8 when he will hand off the keys to the new owners. We got back to town around 3 p.m., an hour and a half earlier than expected.
Who went: Carolyn, Viki, Brenda, Camille, Gail, Doris, Bonnie, Jean, Katie