What a crazy winter this has been! Every week temperatures soar into the 40s or 50s only to be followed by colder days hovering near 20. The first week of February was a perfect example. Although the Camden Winterfest / Toboggan Nationals were still on, the ice sculptures had melted into unrecognizable blocks, the snow sculpture competition was cancelled and the toboggan races were moved to the ski slope since the ice on the pond was only 2 inches thick in spots. Thursday morning (as the temperatures once again soared near 50), the forecast called for a combination of rain / snow showers for Friday, so I was surprised when I saw that by Thursday afternoon a winter weather advisory had been posted. Friday, the snows came and I found it a bit humorous that the snowplow parade scheduled for that night was postponed. By Saturday, we had almost a foot of fresh snow on the ground.
Seeing the snow, we dusted off our snowshoes and headed towards Erickson field. Although the parking area had not been cleared yet, we were able to park the truck near the kiosk. Looking across the field, we could see that we were not the first ones to be out enjoying the snow. Someone had been there before, leaving a creative loop through the snow.
As we made our way across the small bridge towards the wooded loop trail, we were surprised to note that those who had gone before had not used snowshoes or skies. There had been plenty of traffic that morning but only boot tracks lead us towards the woods. By the time we were heading towards the trail, the morning rush to be the first to blaze a trail through the snow was gone and the only other person we met was a woman walking her dog.
There is nothing that says winter wonderland to me then traipsing through a pine forest. The snow laden greenery just seems so magical. The white blanket also hides some of the debris left during the creation of this trail, and the blow-overs from previous storms. All small vegetation and the smaller artistic patterns created by nature are hidden as well, so I suppose my husband was pleased that we were not stopping every few minutes while I admired another new discovery.
We walked the loop for an hour, just soaking in the beauty and peacefulness of the still, snow-filled forest. As we followed the field trail back towards the truck, I did stop once to admire the high contrast of some red berries against the white snow. We left the preserve, just as the plow arrived to clear the parking area.