A Wintry Walk On The Last Day Of 2016 On The Local Rail To Trails.
It was cold and overcast this meaning here in Northeastern Pennsylvania and I decided to hike on the local Rails to Trails. This time I started at the eastern end of the trail, near the coal patch town of Hazle Brook. The cloud formations obscured the early Winter sun making for, I hoped, some good photographs. Unfortunately, I forgot the memory card to my Canon 5D camera. So the photographs in this post were taken with my iPhone.
There was about two inches of snow on the ground so it wasn’t the easiest walking. I headed west on the old railroad right of way and came to an old strip mine, now filled with water. There are lot of birds and insects here in the summer but nothing was to be seen today.
I walked along the trail as it passed through some active coal mining areas and then through a mine reclamation area. The low riding sun was trying to break through the cloud cover making for some interesting shadows, and putting me in a reflective mood as another year comes to an end.
I walked through the snow, and came to the active railroad tracks, over which the trail can now cross thanks to a recently constructed bridge. The tracks head south past the Penrose Reservoir, through Weatherly and done into the Leigh River Gorge., some more of my favorite hiking areas.
Just past the bridge, the set of tracks that i was following on the trail turned onto the tracks and I now had to blaze, or trudge, a new path through the snow.
I didn’t see any animals on my walk, except for a few juncos and crows, but their was plenty of evidence that there were many critters in the area, by the tracks they left in the newly fallen snow.
I continued to walk the rail through the heath barrens, created by the cut and burn clearing done by Native Americans.
The trail takes a big u turn and then proceeds east again toward the Dreck Creek Reservoir. I stopped for a little rest when I reached the picnic area at the reservoir.
As I started my return trip, the wind changed and started blowing from the northwest, and with it came some blue skies.
On my way back I came across a snow angel some crazy person made in the snow. I am not mentioning any names.
I saw more track on the way back, this set looks like it was made by some type of bird.
The wind picked up as i walked and howled in the tree tops, especially the pines and hemlocks. The quite somber start now took on a more lively, sunny appearance. i enjoyed experiencing them both on this last day of the year. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/Rails-to-Trails-hike-December-21-20156-
While the bald trees stretch forth their long lank arms…
And nought more gladsome in the hedge is seen,
Than the dark holly’s grimly glistening green—
At such a time, the ancient year goes by
To join its parents in eternity—
At such a time the merry year is born,
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.