Ready, get set, go! January 6 was frigid cold with temperatures at 15 degrees when a group of 9 hikers met at 9:30 am at Western Ridge Club House in Crozet for a 6.3 mile hike. Everyone was bundled in layered clothes, mittens, neck warmers, and winter boots. Hike leader, Marit Anderson, quickly described the route and details so the group could start moving right away. Once we did, the blood started flowing, and it actually turned out to be a most enjoyable morning. The trail was an out and back from Western Ridge subdivision to Lickinghole Basin to Claudius Crozet Park and back. We skirted by Westhall and Foothills Crossing subdivisions as well, but we had lots of privacy in the wooded trails and along the frozen waterway of Lickinghole Basin and Lickinghole Creek. The highlights included multiple sightings of a blue heron, the view of a large eagle's nest, and the wondrous sounds of the pinging water flowing under the frozen pond. The trail was mostly flat so we had a good pace going and when we reached the halfway point at Claudius Crozet Park we munched on homemade toffee bars and sipped warm tea on benches near the dog park. The intrepid winter warriors included Jeanne Densmore, Sunny Choi, Jeanne Siler, Nancy Handley, John Brandt, Mark Perschel, and newcomers Peggy Byrd and Frank Cain with Canine Companion in training - Darryl the wonder dog. Marit wants to send out special thanks to Claire Cline for showing her some of the new trails in Crozet earlier that week. It proved to be a great winter valley hike when it is too cold and icy to get up in the mountains.
|A blue heron up ahead... then into flight|
|Darryl was in dog heaven today with the Charlottesville PATC|
submitted by Marit Anderson