The morning started off snowy, but all the cars made it up the steep road to the trail head. As soon as we stopped Nitika was in heaven running, rolling, and swimming in the snow. She brought excitement for all of us. The weather was perfect on the Nebraska Notch trail with hiking in the sun with little wind. The sights of snow covered trees with reaching shadows in the sun were postcard perfect. Once we turned onto the Long trail and crossed over our last hill approaching Taylor lodge, we experience the other side of winter. The wind picked up, it seemed much colder, and the suns rays no longer brighten our way. Most of us actually went inside the cabin to avoid the bone chilling wind. Ted Albers was generous to offer some hand warmers to those who desire them. Unfortunately it was too cold to wait for Dot Myers to make it all the way to the lodge. So we quickly took a group photo and headed back. The wind felt like it picked up even more on the hike back up the hill from the lodge. Blowing snow, encourage most of us to bundle up with and use our hoods. We met Dot who was about four tenths of a mile from the lodge. She was high in spirits and is always willing to turn around when the rest are headed back. Dot is a long time hiker who is always welcome on my hikes. Soon after getting over the hill and back to the Nebraska Notch trail, the sun was out once again warming our souls. The winds disappear like someone just turn off a switch. It was strange how once side could be so nice and the other so stormy. The hike down was as pleasant as going up. Nitika kept stealing my mitten and running. A form of play we learn to do to help keep warm. Tabatha and Heather commuted together, so they left when they finished the hike. Ted, drove himself, since he had to stop over in Essex on the return trip. He too was headed out when he finished ahead of the balance of the group. Soon after I arrived back to the parking lot, Mary noticed Ted was out with a shovel. It turned out someone parked on the side of the road, forcing others to go around their parked car. Ted, with his super Subaru must have decided he did not need to stay on the other tire tracks and could make a wider pass. Unknowing to him the snow covered a deep, and I do mean deep ditch. Lucky for Ted, there were lots of eager helping hands. Unlucky for Ted, all these hands could not push him out. Also unlucky for Ted, another Subaru and tow rope could not pull him out. After much swearing about the owner of the car that left his car parked along the side of the road and the thought of rolling the park car over on its side, Ted’s luck changed. A person with a four wheel truck came to the rescue. Lucky for all of us, if Ted’s car could not be moved, then most of us would not be able to get by with no place to go. Thanks to all the participants for a wonderful hike.

Hikers: Dot Myer, Tabatha Small, Heather Allin, Ted Albers, and Mary Keenan

Leader: Robert Chaperon and his American Eskimo dog Nitika