Monday, January 24, 2011

Beebe HIll State Forest On A Cold Winter Morning

Sunday morning arrived and I woke up in a bit of a funk, the sort of funk which an experience in nature usually cures. So I packed up the four youngest dogs and drove south to Beebe Hill State Forest. This trail is short and ends at a fire tower. I hoped that skiers or snowmobiles had packed down the snow, but I wouldn't know that until I got there. When I arrived, I found that the parking area was not plowed but managed to find a place for my car just off the road. The dogs and I began walking toward the trail head, passing this old pioneer cemetery on a hill:

The actual hiking trail had seen no traffic at all, making it too difficult to hike through the snow. But the service road had had snowmobiles, skis and snow shoes tamping down a fairly walkable pathway. So we began our hike:

The dogs began with their usual great joy and exuberance. I figured we had the entire forest to ourselves, so I let them run farther ahead than I usually would permit. You can read the happiness on Seamus' flopping ears:

We followed the woods road into the quiet forest:

I'd feared that the daintily built Papillons with no undercoat would get too cold, but they showed no sign of it. Clover, in fact, kept plowing into the deep snow just for fun:

We passed several side trails to other destinations, but I knew that a fire tower awaited us only 1.25 miles up the trail. So onward we hiked:

Most of these other trails had had no traffic and would be very difficult for me anyway. Even walking in the tamped wake of the snowmobiles was proving to be strenuous:

But the pooches were having great fun:

Daphne and Clover, the two Papillon puppies, had it the easiest. Their light weight enabled them to trot right over the surface of packed snow. Seamus and I, heavyweights that we were, had more difficulty:

And the play continued. You can see the puppies wrestling in this photo while Fergus runs for joy. Oh, to have that kind of energy!. Well, our hike was just beginning. I'll post more tomorrow:

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