Silvercrest crystals sparkle the day; cat tracks put a scare on it
Hoarfrost crystals were everywhere as Katie and Gail trekked around the B and D loops of Silvercrest, breaking trail the whole way. Since slogging through the snow tired us out, taking pictures of the shining gems gave us many breaks as we strove for the perfect shot of the hexagonal-shaped ice that clung to the tree branches. But the lighting and shadows proved difficult for good compositions, so we kept trying and trying, taking way too many pictures.
Besides the hoarfrost crystals, we saw many tracks: rabbits, mice, squirrels, birds and cats! Yes, we saw mountain lion tracks following the bunnies and elk.
We had planned to go four to five miles, but three was plenty with the difficult conditions of the trail. The snow was deep but without a base, so we kept hitting rocks, small trees and even dirt with our poles and snowshoes, throwing us off balance at times. We even had to step over some fallen trees that due to lack of snow weren't covered yet. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, the snow was fluffy powder that glistened in the sun. And the weather was perfect, no wind with sun, not to mention that we had Silvercrest to ourselves.
We had given Tom, Katie's husband, a ride to the top so he could ski. We didn't know how long we would be out, but by a coincidence, Tom arrived back at the same time as we did.
After our three and a half hours on the trail, we headed to Bob's Bar in Neihart for a sandwich and sweet potato fries!