Location: Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown, CT
Date: December 14th, 2017
Time: 11 am – 1:00 pm
Hike Duration: 2 hours; approximately 2.5 miles
Weather: Fresh layer of powdery snow (3-ish inches), started out cloudy and ended up sunny with blue skies, 35 degrees
We woke up this morning to another few inches of snow on the ground and a 2-hour delay for school. Which gave us plenty of time to prepare for our first hike this season in the snow, replacing bug spray and lint rollers (great for tick checks!) with foot and hand warmers. I’m still practicing with pushing the energy and heat from my core out to my extremities, so I didn’t need to use them yet.
We stopped at the Forest Headquarters Office to pick up a better map. We were also able to talk with one of the rangers about the trail we planned to take. Always nice to get our bearings and some advice before heading out. And they had a pet cat who was loving my attention! 🙂
We began our hike by visiting the Rhododendron Sanctuary. Just magical in the snow. This was a short, in and out trail, that ends at what I think is the Mount Misery Brook.
Then we got serious and headed up to the Mount Misery Overlook. About half way up the first incline, our legs began to feel a true connection to the name of the spot we were hiking to. And, of course, we didn’t even realize it was the first incline until we hit the second one! No denying it was worth it though.
I love hiking in the snow. I think there’s a nostalgia to my childhood and playing out in the back woods on snow days. We had an awesome sledding hill. But what I loved the most was sneaking off to an evergreen tree to hide under it’s branches weighed down by the snow. There’s a silence in the snow covered woods that’s different, softer, than nature’s silence usually is. This is probably where my love for evergreens began. And my love for being in the woods.
The Sufi’s have 99 Divine Names for the qualities of God. One of them is Al-Musawwir – The Shaper of Beauty, the One that lends all things their form, the Painter or Artist. I feel a connection to this quality when I’m in the woods, especially woods highlighted by the brush strokes of snow. Woods that glisten and shimmer as the sunlight filters through. I find nature to be a majestic reflection of the Divine.
Our lunch with a view was at the overlook. Gorgeous. Dennis brought home rotisserie chicken salad from his work, so I was able to change it up a bit from my regular ham sandwich. Mmmmm, their chicken salad is my favorite! We waited for the ride home to enjoy our oranges though, as the hiking conditions felt a little too slick to peel and walk. Our hike back to the truck took us down Firetower Road. Since we weren’t quite ready to leave yet, we had some fun creating snow art in an open field before heading home!