Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Walking

This winter has been for the snow lover, a dream.  Ok, sometimes a nightmare too!  We've had at least 6 snow storms over the last month or more, including one ice storm.  Because of this all my walks have had to be fairly well planned.  The layering had to be  thought out in advance.  Warm enough at the start, with the ability to peel away like an onion as the body temp required.  The snow shoes have been at the ready, although I haven't actually gotten to use 'em.  The snows were frequent but not quite as deep as some of last years.  Or at least not in the areas I was walking in.

Helen & Rose

About a week ago, after the latest snow storm, I got to do a bit over 3 miles, simply roaming the town with my friend Rose, and her sister Helen, visiting from Georgia.  The girls have been making the most of the snow storms together, making snowmen and angels!


"Our Town"

We may not have gotten a chance to go far, but we made the most of our time in the village and had a fantastic time strolling around, even thru the local cemetery.  I always think of the play "Our Town" when we walk thru there.  I've gotten to know so many of it's "residents" after living here for 25 years.  I always feel a sort of comforting presence when I'm there.  Almost like they're happy for a visit and to be remembered.   I always make sure to go to the corner where Fr. Max is buried. Near him is Frankie F. who died at 10 years old.  Behind him is Jamie, who, despite of her Cystic Fibrosis, made it to 28 years old doing the sports she loved.  Helen and Helene are around the corner.  All remembered, loved and appreciated.  Visiting them always makes me happy to be alive and happy to have gotten to know them.

Sycamore trees along one of the avenues.
Last Sunday I had the joy of getting to run away for the day to go play out in the snow with one of my best friends.  His other half was off skiing in Colorado, mine was busy working on his wine.  The rest of our usual cadre of hiking fools was either working or had family events to attend to.  So, Rich and I headed out on our own.


It was supposed to be a quick jaunt around the Atsion Lake area with our snowshoes.  The snow however, once we got out there, simply didn't warrant slapping them on, at least in our humble opinions!  We simply headed off, following other foot prints, into the woods.  After about a mile or so, we crossed the Mullica River Trail, with a small sign informing us that Basto Village was only 8.5 miles further on.  Now I should add that of our group, if anyone is likely to take the longer trail, the steeper slope, or just have to see what's around one more would be the two of us!  I know we drive our spouses a bit crazy.  I know they are often relieved to hang back in the pack and discuss our "insanity".  So, that said, of course we decided to follow the damn near Camino yellow blazes and walk to Batsto!  Fortunately we're also among the most likely to have spare gear on us at all times, including spare socks, food and water.  Oh and a cell phone with which to call my dear hubby and sweetly inquire if he wanted to do lunch with us at the local watering hole.  The Piccalili or as it's better know locally, The Pic, is noted for their blistering Buffulo Wings.  And of course it's only a few miles from Basto, and could be neatly timed so he could pick us up after our 10 mile hike!  Thank God he loves good food and wine almost above everything else!
The bridge we expected to cross 8 miles in!

The makeshift bridge we did cross!
Mullica River with Ice Islands

Batsto Village, where they made bog iron into cannonballs!
Batsto Mansion and our finish ahead!

So, all of us had our "perfect" Sunday. Vivian, flying down the slopes in Colorado, Ray working on his wine and getting to eat out,  Rich and I slogging thru the woods, taking pics and just going where the road leads us.