I went on another hike on the Dogwood. This time it was very icy and many branches and some trees had fallen on the trail. It was challenging but nice. I didn’t run into any other people on the trail, but did see some on the adjacent trail and road. The glistening ice on branches, especially the few brief periods when the sun made an appearance, was very nice.
The beginning of the trail was pretty muddy. Wearing simply walking shoes and knowing how muddy that side of the trail can get, I worried it would be a muddy slog. I hoped the ground would be more frozen further on. And was it. It was solid ice across most or all of the trail much of the way. Many areas had rough, bumpy, or broken ice that had enough texture for traction, or leaves and rocks poking through on one side, but there were plenty of areas, including some steep ones, that were pretty slick all the way across. I brought my Yaxtrax and put them on, but they weren’t enough in some areas, and I had to move slowly and carefully. I did manage to make it without falling once, but it took a while. There were also a few stretches along the bottom way and back at the end that were muddy again.
I heard and likely saw a pair of owls. I heard them from afar as I was coming up the hill toward the final stretch of the trail. They made the same call as the owls I sometimes hear near my house, but haven’t seen. These sounded to be in the valley on the other side of a hill, to which a side trail went. I decided to take that trail and see what I could see. As I approached, they were silent, but they did fly off. One, a delay, then the other. They were still far off and through the trees, but they looked quite large.