Last Thursday, Papa Pea and I strapped our newly purchased crampons to the bottoms of our boots and set off to hike up the ice-covered creek near us.
You may remember we attempted this trek a week or so ago, but the mission had to be aborted because we didn't have any kind of "grippers" for our boots and the whole creek was one solid sheet of smoooooth ice!
Now that we were prepared, the creek was snow-covered and had a surface we could have walked on without our new crampons. However, we did get to test them out by walking up all of the several frozen waterfalls we encountered. Above Papa Pea is standing at the top of one of them. Without our crampons, navigating these small, frozen rises in the creek would have been difficult. They worked so well that with them, I think I could have walked up a 45 degree angle. (Maybe.)
There were spots in the creek where the ice had been melted and carried away by the flowing water underneath. Here I'm standing upstream, looking down. Even under the snow and (mostly solid) ice we were walking on, we could hear water gurgling. Some places we were careful to stay right along the bank's edge.
When we had gone far enough (never did get to what we could say was the "top" of the creek), we found a spot on the creek bank where the snow was melted, and we could climb out of the creek bed and head for home cross-country.
Clamoring up the bank wasn't as easy as it looked. My simple point-and-shoot camera doesn't do well on depth perception, but here I'm standing at the top of the bank looking down at the creek (from whence we came) which is the farthest kinda sorta diamond-shaped white spot at the bottom.
Arriving home, we had a quick lunch and then to take advantage of the beautiful, sunny day, drove about five miles from home to hike through a forestry plantation of old red pine trees.
The trees were planted nearly 90 years ago, but sad to say, are not looking to be in very good shape now. Most of the lower branches have died off, and I wonder how long these beauties will remain standing.
Nonetheless, this area is still gorgeous and although the hiking was a bit strenuous because of the "in between" texture of the snow, the scenery was worth it. We took our smaller snowshoes thinking we might need them. For the first half of the hike we both wore them, then I took mine off for the last part while Papa Pea kept his on the whole way. I thought it was a little easier walking without them. But not by much.
Beside the path we came across this Charlie Brown Christmas tree past hikers had decorated for the holidays. A cheery little spot still saying "Happy Holidays" on a great day in April.