Ordinarily, this is a snowshoe event but this year Mr. Snow was delayed in his arrival! No matter what, there were awesome women waiting on time at the designated location and were ready for the adventure. There were even 'repeat attendees' from the last year---YAY! Anyway, we had volunteers that carpooled us to the trail head and after a few group pics, final decision to lighten our packs by forgoing the snowshoes, we were off!
The hike began at top of Northwoods Drive and ended at The Bierstube. The start of the path is through a forested single track and then it opens up to fire roads, wide paths, the rest of the way. I was able to scope the conditions a few days ahead and mark a few of the turn points with ribbon tied on some trees. It was only at the single file section where there was a brief split in the group but soon enough, we were all together again. It was cool to be the lead and look back to see the long stretch of headlamps trailing behind. It was all I could see...no faces, just lights and a lot of talking and laughing (bummer that the picture I tried taking of this 'train' was a big fail).
The hike continued and there was no fear factor even though there were multiple sized bear tracks all along the way. I'm pretty sure that 23 ladies talking and walking as a group would not cause surprise to a bear or any other nighttime critter! After every turn there was brief instruction to the lead ladies ---take a left at the crossroad, continue on the road and stay to the right at each intersection, at the creek, wait for the group to be close together again....and so on!
Snack breaks, potty breaks, slow down breaks...it all went without a hitch (well, a few of us did get some deep mud on the last uphill fro the Base Lodge). As a group, we climbed the back stairs to the Beirstube, made our grand entrance, then happily toasted to our success over pitchers of beer!
When I first moved here, I asked and asked if anyone would join me on that route for a night hike. I was absolutely familiar with the route, so getting lost was not an issue. Either way, I only had one 'taker' contrasted by many 'are you crazy?'! After a couple more years with one or two to join me on this tradition I began and enjoyed, I am pleased to have so many joining me! Last year there was 9 of us. This year, with the 23, I can only hope that you will all join me again next year and will encourage more of your friends as well!.
As Margosia recently mentioned in her blog about tradition, I would love to have you add this event to your new traditions!
Post by Laurie McCargar, Outsiety BadAssador