It was time to make the monthly scout for the upcoming Black History Tour and Hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park. I had pre-scheduled it for the Tuesday before our monthly Saturday hike, with my Sweep, Paulette. That was the best day that fit into her schedule.
We knew snow was forecast for the afternoon. We are both from the Midwest. She is from Columbus, Ohio and I am from Detroit, MI, so the snow forecast was non-consequential to us…so off we went.
Upon arrival at the park, we went into the office to meet with the ranger about the special Black History tour for our group. After our brief meeting, we headed for the trail. It is always very interesting when we scout the trails. More times than not, we discover something new or different from the last time we hiked the trail. Scouting is what helps prepare us for our group hikes. As you can see in the photos, when we started, the trail was uncovered with snow, although light flurries had started. It is about a 4 mile hike and as we look for changes and make notes, the scout gives us a chance to enjoy the trail, since when we are with the group, we are really working and looking out for their well being.
As I continued to take pictures, you can see the snow was starting to stick. Quite frankly, it was the first time we had actually hiked in snow, and it was really rather pleasurable. We took our time and enjoyed the experience. Well, by the time we finished the trail and stopped back by the park office…it was locked and everyone had left! We went to the car, and had to clean it off. A park ranger drove up just as we reached the car. He said we should be careful and stayed until we pulled off. He seemed concerned, but underlying, I later realized, he was waiting for us to leave so he could leave. As we approached the exit gate, there were two employees waiting to close the gate. I smiled and waved…neither was returned. As soon as we drove out, they closed and locked the gate. We had held them up from getting off early and going home!
Still, there was no real problem. It was about 1:30p.m. in the afternoon and we were on our way home for what is usually a 45 minute drive. Well, no such thing! We were almost at the main road and once on there, it was less than a mile for us to get onto the Interstate to get home. Traffic became backed up. Since I don’t see Paulette often, and I had a full tank of gas, water and snacks in the car, we were in no rush. We talked, laughed, caught up on happenings of our lives, and listened to music on the radio. After sitting a while, and time got away, we were approached by a man whose truck had slid off the road. He told us the traffic on the main road was not moving, and it was probably best if we turned around and took an alternate route. I really didn’t know my way around, but decided to take his advice anyway. It wasn’t until we turned around did either of us realize traffic was as bad as it was. We finally made it to the Interstate. Luckily, we were on the lesser traveled side. We saw cars spinning their wheels, and going nowhere. All in all it took us 4 hours to get home.
There is no doubt, that after having the serene experience of being on the trail and seeing the wonderful winter wonderland, untouched, neither of us were anxious or stressed about the weather. I had absolutely no problem driving on the snow/ice covered roads, since I had many, many years experience while living in Detroit.
At this point, I believe this experience of hiking on the snow covered trails rounded off my hiking adventures; I have now hiked in rain, snow, sun, clouds, wind, hot, warm, cool, and cold. Mother Nature has been awesome through each experience! I feel so very blessed having experienced God in all His glory…and allowing me to Live Life to the Fullest!!!