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(63) RAGGED MOUNTAIN – March/April 2018
As I start to write this column, it is the first day of spring. By the time you read it, I hope the world outdoors has grown spring-like, even if just a little — shoots of skunk cabbage, a touch of warmth in the air perhaps. Looking through my window now, snow remains in patches, but there is more branch-snapping stuff on the way and the mercury is not much above freezing. Earlier this month, when spring was hoped for but not expected, it was the first in our series of March storms that sent me to Ragged Mountain.
(62) THREE FACES OF WINTER – February 2018
Winter, I have said before, is my second favorite hiking season. I doubt it will ever replace fall, but more winters like this and it just might. We’ve had cold—oh, yes—but just a little snow—enough to adorn but not to force the hiker into snowshoes or into post-holing. So the trails have been open and my only regret is that my outings were not more frequent. Still, I must not complain, and here are three reasons why.
(61) WEST KILL MOUNTAIN – December 2017
Winter does not arrive neatly with the solstice. I took this hike in the northeast Catskills on December 11th. If the air had been soft and the forest carpeted in copper leaves, I would have been happy to call it—as astronomically I should—a late-fall hike. But the air stung and the Catskills were covered in powdery snow, and the hike was my first winter outing of the season.