It was cold with a light but steady snow falling. The Lake Effect Snow Adivsory was in place but my dad was still on his way to my house, ready to go explore with me. No one is as chill as my dad (no weather-related pun intended) or as capable of solving life one moment at a time. But if I ever display a “hey, let’s go anyway” mentality, you can be sure I learned it from him.
This week’s #hike52 adventure was as close to home as possible. Many times I’ve run loops in Krull Park. The paved road is about a mile around and has served me well in marathon training. As has been the case in the past, I’ve created mental notes of things to check out — when I’m not wrapped up in chasing results and tempo pace. My list of “things to check out” included the nature trails at Krull Park. It wasn’t until this year that I noticed the actual sign “Rob DeVoe Memorial Nature Trails.” This had to be explored.
The land along Lake Ontario is flat so this would be a relatively easy walk. At least so I thought.
My dad arrived and we decided that we didn’t need snowshoes. There was about three inches on the ground but some spots were relatively bare and grassy. Instead I brought my snowshoe poles and he had his hiking stick. We started in the park and walked over to the marked entrance.
“What do we know about Rob DeVoe?” my dad asked.
“Well, this nature trail is named after him,” I replied. “And that’s about all I know.”
Onward we went following a well cut trail through high bush fields. The snow was not deep, but there was definite ice — mostly the crunchy kind that was not well frozen over. The trail was lumpy with uneven footing which made our poles and walking stick handy implements to have.
There was no wind. The snow fall was pretty. Serene and calm. No noise from the road. No noise at all. The silence was soulful and welcomed.
We noticed a ton of bluebird houses, most of which looked relatively new. The trails were easy to follow with a number of options offered. We kept to a rather simple large circle and when we started heading south and opted to turn west back toward the main park instead of heading deeper into the woods. We came across a clearing which seemed out of place. We cut across the field to check out the big, white informational board … Which was pretty much empty. However it did tell us the field was used to fly radio controlled airplanes. Ah, the clearing made so much more sense now!
As we started to walk the path that led to the park road, we hit ice.
And when I say we hit ice, I mean we literally hit ice.
The path was snow covered hiding a perfect glass sheet. We tried to go slowly, but legs separated like a baby deer’s at the same time my dad went down.
“Did I just kill my dad?” I thought.
He insisted he was fine and didn’t look the worse for wear. I helped him up and we devised a new plan — backtrack and find another path over to the road.
We did and promptly hit more ice. The road was maybe a tenth of a mile away but sheets of ice seperated us from it. The path had tad bit of clearing along the side and I guided my dad to it. Using our poles we felt for ice. Then my dad moved off the trail and started bushwhacking like a pro. OK, our bushwhacking was kinda clumsy, but it got the job done.
Who said you needed a hard-rated hike to have an adventure? The degree of difficulty is in the eye of the beholder — or the soles of the hiker.
Who said adventure only comes through epic moments? Everyday exploration opens us up to what’s around us and creates an appreciation and sense of wonder for the present moment, for where we stand today.
Hike 52 Project
Date: Jan. 17, 2016
Location: Krull Park, Olcott, NY
Trail: Rob DeVoe Memorial Nature Trail
Total distance: 2miles
Elevation: 29 feet
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
Weather: 25 degrees, light snow
Hiked with: Dad
“A winter walk in the woods at Krull Park.”
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