Monday, January 17, 2011

Moonlight Snowshoeing - Featherstonhaugh State Forest

Every month in the winter, as we get close to the full moon, I try to lead a moonlight snowshoeing outing for Schenectady ADK. Sometimes it seems like a minor miracle to pull this trip off, since it requires both sufficient snow and clear skies before it can happen. Snow depth is pretty well-known days in advance, but the weather can be very fickle, with unexpected clearing or cloudiness always a possibility, making scheduling the specific night a literal nightmare, both for me and for those who've signed up.

Tonight we got lucky. The moon was 96% full, there was snow on the ground, and we had a window of about an hour between darkness and the time clouds were due to move in. And move in they did, right on schedule. Five of us tramped around in the woods for that hour, first in bright moonlight, and ending with complete cloudiness, but plenty of light to easily follow a quiet snowmobile trail back to our starting point. It's a special time to be outside, and when nature cooperates and we can actually get out and make this trip happen, it's worth every bit of the uncertainty leading up to it.

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