Starting the hike, we debated at the trailhead whether or not we’d need snowshoes. We all decided against them. Not sure if this decision was based on the fact that we had Spring in our hearts and wishful thinking, or because we actually didn’t think we would need them. Regardless of our motives, our decision proved right on. The trail was mostly packed patches of snow, followed by long stretches of soft dirt trail. I must say, greeting the earth of the trail after a long winter of walking on snow, was a welcomed reunion. Every step was like a long awaited hug from the supple ground.

The energy of the group was high, especially for the dogs. It might have been the sunshine and 40 degree temps, or just the eagerness to explore the mountains. The hike flew by with engaging conversations, a couple of stops shedding layers, and the hilarity of the dogs chasing each other and exploring ice covered beaver ponds.

When we reached the Clara Bow Trail junction, the guys in the group ventured down the rough trail of Clara Bow and the ladies continued on the Long Trail. When the group reunited at Taylor lodge, we learned the guys had seen postholing up to their waist, but some pretty spectacular icicles. At the lodge, we had some cookies, of course , finished lunch and returned via the same route. Of course on the way home, the dogs wanted to revisit the same ice covered beaver pond. This time, however, with help from the sun, the ice had softened just enough that one of the dogs did break through. With strong will, shallow waters, and motivating fear, the dog was able to make it back to shore without any harm. Back at the car, and saying our goodbyes, I found myself wishing we could just pause time and continue hiking. It was a perfect day, with warm weather, clear skies, and an energizing group with exceptional compatibility.

Participants: Jan Grady, Mike Grady, Sarah Fijal, Scott Fijal, Joanne Mellin, Taylor Christie, and the dogs: Sheyenne (boxer), Trigger (Vizsla) and Buster (Golden Retriever).

Trip Leader: Kelley Mackison