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Christmas Hike 2008

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Last year, Sarah and I hiked at McCormick’s Creek State Park, in southern Indiana, with my family. That day was unusually warm, at 47 degrees — I wore a sweater, for a hike on Christmas day!

Well, it looks like the Christmas hike is becoming a tradition. This year was a lot different, as it was just Sarah and me, and here in NE Pennsylvania, we had snow and ice to contend with. We both were (and still are) sick, but it was great to get out anyway.

We went down to Nescopeck State Park, where mom and I hiked when she came to help us move in. Sarah and I had never been there together. We decided to hike the Creekside Trail, and now that we have done a little snowshoeing, we felt confident enough to bring the dog with us.

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Rob

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Sarah

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Snowshoes

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Wide trail, mountains

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Creek

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Another view of the creek

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Rob, running alongside the creek

The trail was wide and easy for a while. It had snowed, warmed up, and then re-froze, so there was a fairly thick layer of ice on top of the remaining snow. It was very slick, but no real problem with our snowshoes. The crampons dig into the ice and have a very strong grip.

There was one thing we hadn’t counted on, though, that caused us some problems: with all the melting snow came some flooding. Parts of the trail were underwater, and we had to find a way to cross the water where it wasn’t too wide.

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Flooding

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A thin layer of ice hovered above the water

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Wide creek

Sarah found a good way to cross flooding in a couple of different places. She was a really good sport about it. We managed to step over/through the water without getting wet.

We reached a point where we were ostensibly supposed to continue in the direction we had been heading. However, the arrow pointing to the Creek Side Loop in that direction had been painted over, and there was no trail visible. We had to instead head back on the Fern Trail.

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What happened to the trail on the left?

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Another view of the creek

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The icy/muddy/slushy Fern Trail

At one point as we hiked, Rob was clearly watching some kind of animal. Eventually a rabbit jumped up and Rob took chase. He didn’t catch it, but it was good to see Rob acting like more of a dog (he normally just lays on the couch).

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Rob, stalking a rabbit

Shortly thereafter, we saw some tracks that I can only assume were bear tracks, unless there was some kind of bow-legged guy with weird boots hiking there previously. Can anyone confirm this?

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Bear tracks, maybe?

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Fern Trail

After a while, the Fern Trail reconnected with the Creekside Trail, and we headed back toward the car.

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Creek

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Sarah and Rob

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Another creek

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Back at the car

We really enjoyed our hike, despite the flooding problems and disappearing trail. I hope we can keep the Christmas hike tradition alive, as it’s a great way to celebrate the holiday and spend some quality time together.

3 Responses to “Christmas Hike 2008”

  1. Tim Says:

    Great tradition you have there. I say keep it up. I got out for a walk at the in-laws b/c I was sans bike. I didn’t have a good pair of sox on and now have a tremendous blood blister on my left foot . Ouch, but it’s all good.

  2. Myles/ rattrappress Says:

    Snowshoeing looks like fun, of course it’s not something you can do here in Texas.

    According to my old Boyscout Handbook those appear to be bear tracks.

  3. Ross Says:

    Nice photos of the Nescopeck Creek area. I’ve been back there frequently this spring. Not sure what the tracks were but you could be right. It is a beautiful area.

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