Some creatures still stirring in spite of bitter cold

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Russ Helwig | January 13, 2014

Because of below zero weather all day and temperatures getting colder with a stiff breeze resulting in hazardous wind chills warnings I cancelled the walk on last Tuesday.

The forecast for Wednesday continued to deteriorate as time progressed. I may have cancelled this hike also had I known that the wind chill advisory had been extended until noon. As the temperature was below zero a half hour before the hike I decided not to hike but Norwin volunteered to go to our U.S. Highway 12 meeting place to greet anyone who might show up. It would be up to them whether or not they would hike, but I advised Norwin to encourage any others who showed up to not hike unless they were well prepared for the wind chills and temperatures.

Marv Herman submitted the following report for the hike:

Seven hearty hikers assembled at the U.S. Highway 12 meeting place. The hike, led by Norwin Watson, was on the Orange trail at John Muir Bike Trails off of County Highway H, a distance of just over four miles. The trail was packed snow so there was no need for snowshoes. Some hikers wore ice grippers on their boots. As the group stepped off, the temperature was 2 degrees. During the hike it warmed up to 6 degrees. Near the end of the hike, there was fresh “sawdust" on the trail and holes in a nearby tree, signs of a woodpecker recently at work. Also, along the trail, fragments of purple statice flowers were found buried in the snow. This was believed by some of the more romantic hikers to be part of a bouquet presented to a lady by her beau in the course of a trail side marriage proposal.

Most of the group carried on to LaGrange General Store for hot soups and tasty sandwiches.

Happy Trekking,


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