After our final ski trip to Gulf of Slides, we pushed off hiking for a few weeks because it kept raining. At the end of April, we found a Sunday that was gray and windy, but only a 10% chance of rain. A friend of ours, Diane, is giving hiking a second chance. We invited her and her new boyfriend Chris to come hike North Pack with us that afternoon.
In the trees, we were protected from the wind. The rain from the past days, however, was still running down the trail. Diane almost immediately stepped into a puddle. The water soaked through her trail running shoes. I spent most of the rest of the hike hoping she wasn’t having a miserable time. She said her new wool socks kept her feet warm.
A month or two later in the spring, that trail will have lots of lady slippers, but I couldn’t see any leaves in the usual spots. The hidden waterfall was giant. The stream had wiped out the bridge before the waterfall. Luckily the bridge at the base of the waterfall was still there, or we would have had to turn back.
I wasn’t sure if Isaac would enjoy the extra company, or if he would be annoyed that no kids came. It turned out he loved the moderate pace set by Diane and Chris. He could stop to explore something and then catch back up without Mom and Dad haranguing him to hurry up. He found two foot stick to measure the depth of the stream as it wound beside the trail. Somehow he never measured it with his own feet. I had brought spare socks and pants for him just in case.
When we stopped for a snack break two thirds of the way up, I thought I saw something falling from the sky. We couldn’t decide if it was rain or the wind blowing florets out of the trees. It stopped again before we could catch one. Up top, at the cliff, the sky was gray from horizon to horizon, but no sign of rain. The wind roared over the ridge, forcing us back down into the trees. Not far off the ridge, small things started blowing through the air again. This time Tyson caught some in his jacket — little white balls of graupel. Guess winter wasn’t giving up yet.
Back at the cars, everyone agreed we should get together again for more hikes.