Hiking Update

Icy reservior
Icy reservoir at West Branch State Park

Happy New Year, my friends! As you can see, we have been keeping up with the hiking. We missed three days when the temperature was below zero and there were high winds, plus a couple for rain. Other than that, we continued hiking every day right through the holiday season!

I love this picture of the frozen reservoir with the frozen ice mounds created where the waves crash into the shoreline. I like winter scenery. This photo amuses me because if you look closely, you can see that someone built a seat from some large rocks and big sticks that were detritus on the beach. The chair even has a stone back. It looks like a throne to me.

West Branch Dam House
Outlet control house at West Branch State Park Reservoir

For those of you who are not the winter afficionados that I am, here is a hike from a sunnier day last week. This is the opposite side of the reservoir from the first picture a few days later. Still no boaters. Believe it or not, we saw boaters out fishing just a couple days before the icy photo was taken. Apparently, this is where serious fishermen go! We sometimes see them unloading or loading their boats and they often say hello and comment on the five dogs we are walking. Yesterday, we walked past the boat ramp and saw someone unloading fishing supplies from their car. There was a cold wind blowing and he commented, “We’re both crazy,” and laughed. My husband and I told him, “Yes, we are!” We have walked just over 57 miles in the past 30 days, and we are happy with that.

We hike in the afternoons during the winter. My husband jokes that the bus leaves at 1:30 pm. The dogs know when it is nearing 1:30. They start milling around the living room where we are doing our after-lunch reading. They become peskier as the hand on the clock nears departure time. If we are late, they stand in front of us and stare. Or they may prance around to get our attention. Claire may lay on the floor and roll around on her back, snorting. She is the resident clown and hands down our happiest dog.

In the spring and fall when it is warm, we hike at 10:30 am before it gets too hot. Not only is it too hot for me by afternoon, but the pavement gets too hot for doggy feet on days we hike on pavement. Dogless walkers probably wonder what we are doing when we bend over to feel the asphalt with our hands for a few seconds. I’m sure other dog walkers know. At least I hope so.

The past couple of years we have not walked in the summertime because it is too hot by the time, we are ready. This summer we hope to do better. Our goal is to get up early leave by 7:30. We’ll see how that goes.

Zekie on the patio in warmer months.

It is always a tossup, what we do in the mornings around here. The nicest time to sit on the patio to relax is during the morning. Most of it is in shade until noon. But that is also the coolest time of day to work in the vegetable garden or do other outdoor chores and projects. Quite the dilemma. Maybe this summer we will walk in the mornings and enjoy the patio when we get back from our hikes. We’ll have to see how that plays out!

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