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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Winter Precursor

"The computer weather says it will clear up after 1:00," Andy announced. The morning was a dreary drizzle. "Let's take the dogs to Ogemaw Hills Pathway for a hike later."

The dogs were all for it, never mind that the sky refused to turn blue.

Gypsy is remarkably generous, allowing FLD Scout and Gus to sit with her on the way to Ogemaw Hills Pathway.

We parked off Sage Lake Road to explore the "most difficult" section of the Pathway's more than 13 rolling miles of hiking and cross-country ski trails.

We are familiar with the "easiest" and "more difficult" trails accessible off Fairview Road, most recently last February when we lost Elaina and Andy and I skied as much of the route as we could in attempts to find her. 

Natalie leads the group last winter on the "easier" trails (minus Elaina).

Anne gives a whistle.
She showed up later, oblivious to our send-Anne-and-the-girls-to-town-for-help concern (cell phones don't work well up here). Her first-time skiing and she took off ahead of us, following the trail markers and having a great time.

Elaina back at marker #1, where I eventually found her.

Lesson learned--announce "stay in contact with the group" BEFORE strapping skis on athletic teens!

Back to our Sunday afternoon hike.

The "most difficult" section proved once again that trail designations always overstate the difficulty. The "backslide" was appropriately named--a long, gradually winding downhill through 100' pines and hardwoods. Beautiful. And contrary to "what goes down must come up," the subsequent uphills were not as difficult as we imagined they might be. But. We weren't on skis!

After almost three miles of hiking down and up in the saturated forest, three dogs (and two people) were ready for a rest.

Three tired dogs on the drive home. Gypsy looks like she's thinking, "Jeez Scout, you're the littlest one and you're taking up all the room!" Gus did the smart thing and opted for the floor.

I, for one, am looking forward to snow and revisiting the "most difficult" trails at Ogemaw Hills Pathway!


  1. Love the photo of the tired poochies.

  2. I love the photos! What a neat landscape to hike in. Do you use cross country skis or snow shoes? We have to invest in some snow shoes because our boots are starting to sink. Ha ha

  3. Hey GirlRural! Thanks for the comment on the pictures. We live in a beautiful area--it is interesting because to the south of us is much farmland and to the north is National Forest. And hilly. My husband and I cross-country ski, but I also enjoy my snowshoes. I love to "bushwack" and the snowshoes make it easier to tromp around in our beautiful woods. You would love them, I'm sure!