Another few inches of snow had fallen, but the weekend temperatures were getting close to 40 and the sun was shining, so what could be better than a walk through the woods! Exploring the Forest to River Trail at Tanglewood seemed to be an ideal place for a hike, but not knowing what the trail conditions would be, we threw our spikes and our snowshoes in the car and headed off towards our next adventure.
The day had warmed enough so that the dirt road leading towards Tanglewood had turned a bit slick, leading to a small driving challenge. However, we did make it to the parking area, where we had to make the next decision of snowshoes, spikes or just the boots on our feet. The snow seemed pretty packed down, so we opted to leave the accessories in the car. It wasn’t long before we realized that this was a big mistake. Although the snow was packed down where cross country skiers had gone before, the warming temperatures had changed the snow to such a soft, sticky mush that we found ourselves slogging our way towards the river.
My husband kept grumbling that we should have gone back for our snowshoes so that we could have easily followed outdoor etiquette of not treading in the ski tracks. I didn’t think that the snowshoes would have given us much of an advantage in the wet snow so I kept on going. We continued at a slow pace down through a grove of conifers before turning off towards the Turner Falls trail.
It was only a few more minutes before we reached the Ducktrap River where we paused to observe the rushing water on its path towards the coast. I commented about how pretty everything looked but I heard not a word from my unhappy partner. Finally we turned away from the river and began the slow journey back towards the car. I stopped a few times, waiting for my spouse to trudge up behind me before continuing our return journey. As we finished our expedition, I looked back at my tired partner plodding on with shoulders slumped and sad expression as he labored towards the finish line. The poor man looked like he had been beaten with a stick. Oh well, spring will be here soon and then we can deal with mud season, which is something we did not have to face in this preserve that’s known to be “wet even during the dry season”.
Once home I looked at my photos and realized we had last traveled through Tanglewood exactly one year ago. What a difference between the snow covered trails this year and spring like weather and wet trails a year ago.