Lithia Park New Years Eve, Buck Prairie I New Years Day - 12-31-21 & 1-1-22

Photos by Elisabeth, Kay and Maria

OUR Old/New Years’ Hike/Snowshoe HYBRID JOURNEY

On Friday, New Year’s Eve day 2021, half of those planning to come showed up in spite of the heavy snowfall and uncertain travel conditions on the DIM route to Buck Prairie.  Five of us met up as planned at Rite Aid at 10 AM. We conferred about a course of action safer than venturing up DIM with so much snow descending and forecasted to continue all day.  We opted to enjoy the snow on a walk through Lithia Park, from the swings up to the Wonder Trail head, and back on a loop along the upper roads and down to OSF and back to the park swings.

It was a magical walk through the forested park. Once on higher elevations circling back, we enjoyed the stunning views of the forests that cradle our sweet town. Lots of engaging conversation, and such a treat to have Kate Jackson join our group on this holiday.  She is nearing her retirement and will join us starting in February.

We concluded by agreeing not to ‘give up’ on a snowshoeing venture in such a rare volume of snowfall, therefore, set out a plan to reunite in 2022--the next day- to enjoy a more promising weather day at Buck Prairie.

On Saturday, New Year’s Day 2022, our group assembled again at 10 AM at Rite Aid, with some additions for a group of 8. We drove up DIM to the Buck Prairie I Sno-Park, cautiously. Buck Prairie on this day provided ideal snow conditions and the most beautiful views ever. The sky was crystal clear, affording long views of the mountain ranges to the east with Mt. McLoughlin, Brown Mountain, and even the far-off tip of Mt. Thielson in the Oregon High Cascades.

We took the lower route at the Y and proceeded up through snow covered trees and along three openings for our distant views. All in all, we covered 4 miles upon returning to the TH.

The funniest episode occurred when Mike W. came out of the woods and back down the trail to the lunching group, wondering why he was lopsidedly sinking on one side. Laughing, his fellow snowshoers pointed out that he was missing one snowshoe, whereupon he had to backtrack into the woods to retrieve it. Seems when one is that tall, he has trouble seeing his feet.

We encountered many more snowshoers and XC skiers on this special day, but it still didn’t feel that crowded. We took it in stride and enjoyed exchanging “Happy New Year” greetings with a number of friends and many strangers.

Elisabeth

Ashland Hiking Home

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