Winter Hiking


  It does not exactly look like a winter hike,  but the date is  Sunday, the 12th of January,  and it was about 34 degrees when we left the house.   Yesterday it was 50 degrees and raining.  The snow disappeared, and I am afraid that the slopes at Jack Frost were deserted.   We stayed indoors and made the best of it, but this morning, my wife suggested a hike first thing – she obviously has her priorities straight!   So we headed off to the preserve.  And we considered the benefits of winter hiking:  no sweltering heat,  no ticks,  no rattle snakes… how good can it get!   

Yesterday  we watched a video about gratitude

Now,  we tend to lag behind the times technologically speaking, so I suspect that this video made the rounds months ago,  but it sure struck a chord with me.   It was introduced  as an alternative to looking towards the new year with great expectations, but instead to look back and to consider the year that has just passed and to recognize all of the blessings that impacted our lives… to be grateful.  I had to stop and get a few tissues about half way through it..   what a softie!

But, we are wrapping up  a wonderful weekend..  good food,  snuggling on the couch watching the first episode of this season’s Downton Abbey accompanied by stove top popcorn,   sleeping later than the sunrise,   a  5 mile hike on a beautiful piece of property that will be preserved for years to come followed by  a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs and  potatoes,   and  a variety of great music thanks to Pandora..   

The year is young, but we already have much for which to be grateful.    High on the list, however, is the family who donated the 3400 acres of land in our backyard to form the preserve and the Natural Lands Trust  and manager Joe Vinton for the  time and resources that they have invested up to this point as they develop a plan of stewardship for this remarkable property. 

Bear Creek Preserve

Today we hiked the red trail in a clock-wise direction, venturing beyond our familiar cut off and exploring a little deeper in the woods.   We spooked a number of deer and delighted in watching their graceful leaps over obstacles as their white tails flashed a message of danger…  How could they have known that we meant no harm and would have been happy to walk quietly by…     We took the second green connecting trail and returned via the black trail.    We were able to do some trail clean up as we went, and we did not run into anyone else along the way.    One goal for the new year is to share the trails with friends and family.  

And now it is time to turn our attention to dinner and a good night’s sleep as we prepare for another week of school.  Although I tend to be the first one to suggest jumping in the car to head out for a new adventure or a road trip, it sure is nice to have the luxury of spending a relaxing weekend at home!


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