Thursday, February 21, 2013

XC skiing and moonlight snowshoeing - Enjoying winter while it lasts

With some lake-effect snow blowing off Lake Ontario with high winds the past few days, one of our favorite places to ski apparently picked up some significant snow.  So today we headed off to Rockwood State Forest yet again, and arrived to find 6-8" of soft new fluffy snow atop the older 8-10" firm base.  That made for some pretty fantastic skiing conditions.  Only a few other people had already been out, followed by a dog walker or two co-opting those nice ski tracks. But the snow was so nice, we didn't care.  The big downhills were manageable and enjoyable for the first time this year.  Too bad there may be some sloppy weather coming in again over the weekend.

The weather was clearing by late afternoon when we arrived home, and by 6pm skies were  crystal clear.  Moonlight snowshoeing would go as planned!  By the time we all met at 7:00, some clouds had moved in and it was flurrying, but we were all dressed up, so decided to take our chances.  At the trailhead, all was clear again, for about 5 minutes.  But even the milky moon provided a good deal of light, so off we went.  We visited the beaver dam and the tree I'd found yesterday, and occasionally had a moment or two of bright unimpeded moonlight.  But then it socked in almost completely, and robbed us of the experience we'd hoped for.  So much for the "mostly clear" forecast.  Still, it was the first time we'd been able to do this trip in almost 2 years of no snow, so we enjoyed it despite the semi-darkness.

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