I always try to get out on New Year's Day or the first available day for a hike to start the year off. Thinking that the CRT may be a little busy with all of those people and their dogs, I chose a less travelled path for my first hike of the year, Cripple Creek Trail #703. There was a little slushy snow in spots on the road behind Three Lynx, but nothing a car couldn't handle. The day was cloudy, but relatively warm and dry, except for the snowmelt in the trees higher up.
I had decided early on that this wouldn't be just a hike, but that I would throw off limbs and rocks and cutout any smaller logs with my handsaw to get a little workout and burn off some of those extra calories taken on over the last week or so.
The snow was minimal down lower and just in the more open areas.
The "Grotto" area was running more water than it normally is, probably from all the snowmelt.
The oak trees always look so mysteriuos this time of year with all the moss and lichen covering almost every available space offered.
The snow was a little deeper, 3-4 inches up at the first spur road crossing at 3000 feet, but still spotty, confined to the more open areas.
This was where I also turned around for I wanted to make sure I made it back home in time for dinner. A good 4 hour workout that made me feel better at the end then I had at the beginning of the day. I hope others took the opportunity to get out of the house and get some fresh air and a little exercise to start their year off on the right foot (or your left).
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