This past weekend I was getting really anxious to escape from the confines of my “cabin” after the blizzard of the weekend before. While the streets were cleared off fairly quickly, in Virginia at least, most of the sidewalks weren’t passable until about four days later. Folks living further north have to deal with heavy snow all the time, but around here it isn’t practical to maintain all the heavy equipment needed to move tons of snow.
Finally, on the Saturday after the blizzard, we went hiking at Sky Meadows State Park, despite advertised treacherous hiking trails and the ranger’s warnings about ice and waist-deep snow. (The park wasn’t even opened until Thursday, four days after the snowfall ended.) As it turned out, the snow was pretty deep, especially in areas with tall grass.
From the Visitor Center, a dozen of us trudged almost a mile and 220 feet uphill through the open meadow along Piedmont Overlook Trail, with me in the lead breaking knee-deep snow.
At the overlook, I felt like a Tennessee Walking Horse after a show* or something. (Where are all those eager beavers that want to race ahead when you need them to blaze a trail?) But the effort was worth it: the view was spectacular!
We continued another quarter mile uphill along the North Ridge Trail, but by then I was completely shagged, so half the group, including me, turned back and returned along North Ridge Trail. We were breaking snow all the way downhill, too, but at least we got to enjoy the view while working out.
The total hike was probably no more than 2.5 miles altogether, but in heavy snow, it certainly felt like a lot more! I don’t know exactly how much further the other half went, but from the photos they posted later, it looked like they only went another quarter mile uphill to the firebreak, where the snow really was waist-deep!
* Not a Good Thing