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Saturday, January 31, 2015

1/31/15 Neighborhood

Cold, windy, and snowing as predicted. I had decided yesterday I was not going to deal with the drive today- snow continued most of the day . We would just walk around the neighborhood.

When we got up I let Kelley out the back to do her business

Instead of returning she went to the drive and made herself a spot.

I got ready and we were off to tour the neighborhood.

It was great for Kelley because, in addition to all the snow,  lots of folks were cleaning their drives and Kelley got to greet most of them and also a couple of dog friends who their owner let outside when he saw Kelley.

We spent an hour and a quarter and  I had cold feet for the first time this year, in addition to cold hands. Kelley , of course, was not affected by the cold.

Some pics to show the snow in our yard

I was glad to be back and inside. Kelley refused to come in and stayed outside for a couple more hours. 

1/30/15 Newport Dover-Foxcroft Trail

Snowing ( lightly )  and 20's with 12 to 16 inches of snow predicted. We headed back to Dover-Foxcroft because we thought the trail would be groomed and we could get in a hike before conditions deteriorated. The roads were in poor conditions on the way over and I thought they would only get worse. No map because I couldn't  find one that showed the features I wanted.

We started, as usual from the Irving parking lot and noted several snowmobile trailers so knew we would be sharing the trail.

The Pascataquis River near the start

Very soon we came to a side trail Kelley wanted to take- we had never been on it. It was not part of the ITS trail system so was not groomed and had had only a snowmobile on it a couple of days ago. Looking back- so our tracks

Started out in woods

then crossed a meadow

 before returning to the woods

 down a hill to follow the river. We walked it for awhile but it did not seem to be headed toward the woods but toward town so we turned around

and returned to the main trail

We met two groups of snowmobilers but mostly it was quiet and pretty and we got in two hours before heading home. Slower drive home as the road conditions had worsened - there was a car of the road and people were driving more carefully 

Friday, January 30, 2015

1/29/15 Newport Dover-Foxcroft trail from Corinna

Yesterday the nearby snowmobile trails had not been used so we just went to Essex Woods. Only one person had been on that trail and didn't go far and neither did we - it was a bit of a slog. There were people and dogs in the dog park so we joined them for awhile.

Today we wanted to get in a descent hike as another storm is forecast for Friday and Saturday  with 12 to 18 inches of snow. This morning it was below zero when we got up but about 10 degrees when we got to Corinna. The sun was shining and there was no wind so it was actually comfortable. I had thought we had not done this section but when we arrived I realized we had. There is parking at a city lot so you start out in the town but are soon in the woods- not as nice as some of the others as the woods are not as dense and the trees smaller- probably logged in the past. The trail had, however, been groomed and walking was not bad.

No dramatic scenery but I found some  plants in the snow

Another view of the trail - section with more conifers

Waiting - again

And some more plants

We were passed by two snowmobiles on the way out and about a dozen on our way back. A lot for a weekday but I think they were taking advantage of all the good snow. Most slow down and give us a wide berth and kelley has learned to go off the side of the trail and lie down until they pass. Though not dramatic a pleasant day in the sun and we got in a 3 hour hike. I was recently asked about mileage and said we rarely know the miles only the time. Today there were mile markers and we passed 7 ( near the start) 8, 9, and 10 so out and back was 6 1/2 to 7 miles. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1/27/15 Neighborhood

They are calling this a blizzard - lots of snow and wind. It's still coming down. It was also cold - 8 degrees when we got out in it- about 10:00. Kelley had been  very excited and paced around the house panting and pestering me until I got dressed and took her out.

She actually waited  for me to get ready

and then it was off down the drive

and down our street - no cars so I was able to leave her off leash

The first street we came to had not yet been plowed but we usually go that way and that's what she wanted today.

We walked a circle through the neighborhood and came back to our street via an unpaved area between houses .

Back at the house she did not want to come in but I insisted. She immediately wanted back out so I let her out the back door where she made herself comfortable. It didn't take long for the snow to accumulate.

I tried to get her to come back in but she did not want to so I got a shovel and cleared a space for her. She didn't care for that and moved to the area behind the house where I store my pots.

She stayed out there a good while but I was a little concerned for her ( probably unnecessarily ) and eventually made her come in. 

1/26/15 City Forest

A little below zero when we got up but sunny- blizzard forecast for tomorrow. I stalled until it got up to 5 degrees and we went to the forest to get in a hike. We did the West Trail, Main and Loop Rd. loop. Kelley wanted to go down and check on the beaver pond and so we did. Not only was the pond still frozen but also the little stream that flows from the end of it.

The trails were a lot nicer today following the recent light snow-it filled in the holes and made them smoother.

We only met one man and his dog in the hour and a half we were there but it was more pleasant than expected. The woods were pretty and the trees  provided shelter from the wind.

When we got home I found some frost on the garage windows

Because of the blizzard we will just walk around the neighborhood tomorrow.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1/25/15 Essex Woods

We woke to about 3 inches of new snow - 8 to 10 had been predicted - but now we have a blizzard warning for Tuesday. Before I could clear the drive Kelley had to get out in the snow and so we did a short walk around the neighborhood. ( I screwed up those pictures)  After I did the drive we went to nearby Essex Woods to check conditions - there is also a dog park there as a fall back.

There were a few dogs in the fenced in park and we went to visit them but only for a short time as Kelley wanted to walk. Someone had started down the trail but soon turned back ( it was not that hard to walk as the snow was light) - by the time we got to the old rail bed there were only deer tracks.

We went as far as we could- private property - and then walked the other direction.  There is a large sledding hill the top of which is near the dog park and Kelley saw children at the top of the hill. She has to greet everyone she sees so I had to climb the hill with her. We then walked by the dog park and there were more dogs and we went in to meet them and their owners. One couple was celebrating the one year anniversary of adopting their dog and passed out baggies of homemade dog treats. That was a big hit with Kelley. She played a bit with the dogs and greeted all the people and was then ready to go. Not a lot of exercise but a pleasant morning. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/24/15 City Forest

Twenties and gray with a winter storm warning for this afternoon and tonight. We went to the forest to get in a small hike before the storm. We did our usual route of West Trail , rail bed, side trail, and back to the West.

The trails were a bit rough as all the prints of previous trail users as well as the ice covered snow were frozen making a bumpy walk.

and some grass in frozen snow

The rail bed had had less traffic and so the footing was better and the side trail had almost none and the best footing. No water for Kelley to get into but we did meet several people and dogs and that made her happy.
1  1/2 hours 

1/23/15 Snowmobile Trail Near Dover-Foxcroft

Twenties , mix of sun and clouds - mostly clouds. Since we had recently found good footing on another part of this trail we decided to do a section we had not done before. Starting from the same place.

At the start it was very open marsh land

but soon turned into the woods

and  nice footing again on a groomed trail - packed frozen snow

A pond we passed

We crossed a road and were confronted with a fairly long stretch of very slick ice with hard banks on the sides. Kelley didn't like it either but we managed to pass safely.

The road turned into a house and the trail continued on in it's previous good condition. I'm guessing the home owner had plowed just before the rain and freeze.

A stream the trail crossed

We have to have at least one twig in the snow

Apple break

Other than the section of ice this was good walking- nothing dramatic but pretty woods all to ourselves. Kelley was enthusiastic - she likes new trails and was ahead of me most of the way,  2  1/2 hours