Needing to get out of the house, I went on a short hike this evening on the Dogwood trail. It was a bit colder and a lot icier than I was expecting. It was also dark, though I brought my headlamp. I was not prepared for the ice. I have some yaxtrax that would’ve made it easy, but didn’t even think of bringing them. It was manageable, but still somewhat slippery all along the center of the trail and worse at certain spots, and there were the steep drop offs right up to the edges of the ice at spots. I stuck to the side away from the fall when I could.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it down the steeper parts further down trail, so I made it my goal to make it to the first bench and then turn around. As I approached the bench, I heard a rather loud owl hooting, probably helped in volume by the silence of the night. It stopped as I got closer. I turned out my headlamp when I got to the bench, in hopes of it forgetting about me, but it didn’t start back up until I had gone back around the bend. I didn’t see it at all in the dark, and didn’t even know where to look since it didn’t hoot while I was near enough.

I found a nice walking stick along the way and broke it to length. It didn’t necessarily have great traction on the ice, but gave another point of balance to work with. My thin, fingerless gloves left whichever hand was holding the stick to get quite cold, so I switched hands occasionally, the other retracted into my coat sleeve to warm up a bit.