Nov 27, 2015

Date Day

It's been quite a few years now since my sweetheart and I started Date Day.  We have arranged our work schedules to have Thursdays off together each week, and although we occasionally go for a bike ride or ski, most weeks we go for a hike.  We originally met in the hiking club at Humboldt State University, the aptly named 'Boot 'n' Blister Club' in the late 1960's.  Most of our first and best memories together come from hikes and outings we did with B&B.

After a hiatus of many years, when bicycling took center stage,

we have returned to feet on ground for our weekly outings.  Distances and difficulty range from the 40 minute 'around the 'hood' stroll on our local river trail, to several hours' long hikes in the Cascades nearby, depending on time of year and energy level.

Although we love our spring and summer hikes on nearby mountain trails, there is something special about our fall and winter hikes.  Trails are less crowded, and weather can range from amazing to 'interesting' to really cold.

Occasionally when there is too much to snow to walk very far, we opt for lunch and a movie.  Naturally, since Thanksgiving always fall on a Thursday, at least one Date Day a year occurs on a holiday day.  A couple of years ago we started a new tradition for those years when we aren't joining friends for a big Thanksgiving feast.

This year is one of those years, so, after a few Home Improvements yesterday morning, we started the day with a walk.  With 15" of fresh snow on the ground in town, we thought maybe if we headed east to the real desert, the snow might be less deep.  Well, no, it was about the same.  But we put on our snow boots and did a short hike anyway.

Our trusty snow car, Oliver, plowed through the uncleared road to what is normally a mountain bike trailhead.  No bikes, but plenty of parking.

No other people, but plenty of (invisible) company, as shown by previously made tracks in the snow.  Several different folks met here over time:

This critter took off in one direction, but then circled back for some reason.

We did realize, belatedly, that possibly skis would have been slightly more useful.

But the sky was clear blue, the crystals in the fresh snow sparkled in the bright sunshine, and we had the place to ourselves except for a raven, croaking from a nearby juniper tree.  In the end, we made a big loop,

and emerged back at the car via this snow-covered sagebrush area.

A lot of snow for a juniper forest.

We had a fine turkey dinner at a favorite restaurant, and finished the day with a movie.  Another excellent Date Day for the record books.

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