For the second time this week I dropped Aubrey off at preschool and headed out for a Mommy only hike. Thursday had weather predictions to reach into the 60s so even though I should have gone home to sleep after working all night, I decided I would rather hike. I arrived at Miller State Park shortly after 9am and was the only hiker (again!) in the lot. There was a crew of maintenance guys loading up a snowmobile to head up the the communication towers at the top. We chatted briefly and departed ways. It was already beautiful out. Within the first quarter mile on the Marion Davis trail I was already working up a sweat and decided it was time to layer down into just my tee-shirt. What a great feeling to be hiking in a tee-shirt in February! The sun against my skin felt wonderful. Nothing like some vitamin D right from the source.
I was surprised by my pace and thank my little training mission a couple day before on how well I was able to keep up a consistent pace. The trail was definitely softer than I was expecting, and partly wished I had bought the snowshoes I was eyeing the other day. Even though my feet were only sinking in a few inches, the trail had sections of rough holes from other hikers that I think snowshoes would have made it easier in some areas. I made good time up the the top. The last few feet of the trail was impossible to not post hole as it looked like they had plowed snow into the area so there was a large build up.
I was thankful to see that the outhouses were unlocked. The night before at work I had practically drank my weight in water and also drank quite a bit on the way up. Best part of outhouses in the winter, they get cleaned out in the fall, they see little use in the winter and everything inside is frozen. No smells.
When I arrived to the summit I only saw one other man who had just come up the Raymond Trail and was setting out on his descent. I picked a picnic table that faced north and dropped my pack. I walked around the park at the top for a bit taking in the sights and enjoying the warm air. I went back to the table and ate a snack and then decided that since I was all alone I would take a cat nap. It was so relaxing being all alone in the warm sun. I woke to other voices off to my side and was surprised to see a few other hikers had made their way to the top. I sat a bit longer and then packed up my things and headed back down.
I opted to take the auto road down. Since on the way up the trails where getting really soft and I didn’t have snowshoes I did not want to beat them up too bad. I knew the road would be a better option for leaving deeper footprints. I also wanted to check it out and see if it would be able to sled down. I only met two other hikers on their way up. I made good time down to the parking lot and was surprised to see many more hikers getting gear in order for a hike up. I was happy I was able to have the mountain (mostly) to myself again.