A Hike On The Coldest Thanksgiving Day In Over 100 Years.

A Hike On The Coldest Thanksgiving Day In Over 100 Years.

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I awoke this Thanksgiving morning to learn it was a record-breaking   11 degrees.  An arctic cold  front brought clear skies and frigid air to our area and to  the entire east coast.  I took my early morning walk in the arctic cold. I returned home, had some coffee, and headed back out into the frigid temperatures. pine trees on snow covered trail

My niece Kelly and her husband were serving Thanksgiving dinner at 1 o’clock. I wanted to get some miles in and work up my appetite for the great meal they prepare so I decided to hike close to home. I drove the three miles to  our local Rails to Trails around 9 a.m. pine trees, blue skies snow on trail

It was now 17 degrees with a strong wind and deep blue clear skies. I met one brave man walking his dogs in the parking lot but did not encounter another person on my five-mile hike. 

It was cold, but the blue skies, snow, sunshine and frigid temperatures always stir something in my soul and I enjoyed an invigorating walk in the cold. 

I walked through a few inches of snow on the first mile of the trail. It wasn’t too bad walking and it got even better when I found the second portion of the trail had been plowed. The trail follows an old railroad right of way along the Dreck Creek Reservoir and also is an access road for the local water authority. Most years the trail is not plowed. I was glad it was. 

Last week we had an early season snow storm that had dumped a foot of snow on our area. Now we were experiencing record temperatures. It was the coldest Thanksgiving in our area in over 100 years. 

I was the only one walking the trail. Not a soul for the entire five-mile hike. I also didn’t see any wild life. I heard a few crows, blue jays, black-capped chickadees and the tapping of a woodpecker on a tree  in the distance, However, not one came into view on my entire walk.

I walked out to the picnic  area near the reservoir when I decided to return. It was much colder walking back into the wind, but the blue skies and sunshine inspired me. I love the contrast between the deep blue sky and the green pine trees along the trail.

I think I could have walked a few more miles but I wasn’t going to miss a great Thanksgiving meal with my family. I briskly walked back to the parking lot having enjoyed another cold, but beautiful, hike in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails hike November 22 2018. 

“May your first thought in the morning be thanksgiving.” 
― Lailah Gifty Akita

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1 Comment

  1. Ned Dougherty on November 28, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for the hiking tour. I walked this same trail a few years ago in the summer!!! The area is familiar to me from my childhood in the 1950s when my grandmother Catherine G. Matthew’s was the postmaster/proprietor of the Stockton store.