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Prepared hikers find winter walks wonderful

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Russ Helwig | February 4, 2014

Due to below-zero temperatures and wind, I cancelled the walk last Tuesday.

Marv Herman writes:

On this sunny cloudless Wednesday with the temperature around 7 degrees above zero, seven long hikers reassembled at the John Muir bike trails to hike the Rainy Dew trail. These bike trails are a favorite winter hiking spot because they are heavily wooded and are largely protected from the wind. Also, the trails are more heavily used by hikers at this time of year and are pretty much snow-packed for easier footing than the Ice Age Trail

Ice grippers were not used by most hikers but at these low temperatures they seem to give an extra assurance of good footing. Near the half-way point of the hike, snacks in the form of delicious home-made trail bars and also walnuts were passed and consumed.

The total distance covered was 5-1/2 miles and at the end, the thermometer had climbed to 16 degrees. All felt that it was a good winter hike.
 
The group reassembled once more at the LaGrange General store where they met the short hiking group well into their soups and coffees.
 

Last Wednesday I joined the shorter distance hike of between three and three and a half miles.  We took the white Muir trail which is a favorite with this group of hikers as it circumvents a large scenic kettle bog as it meanders through varied terrain in beautiful woodland.

Chester, a regular canine companion of Ruth McCann's, was wearing cloth booties to keep ice from building up on his paws.

Since I had not hiked much during the last few weeks due to inclement weather I found the pace relaxing and better suited to me than the fast paced long walk would have been.

It was a delightful walk with many signs of wildlife that had recently left their marks in the soft snow and friendly conversation.


Happy Trekking,

Russ



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