Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Roger's Loop Trails

Roger's Loop Trailhead

The Roger's Loop Trailhead is my favorite take-off point for snowshoing, skiing, and  hikes.  It is a quick 5 minute drive up Baycrest Hill heading north out of Homer, so if I'm running errands and need to "waste" an hour, I'll often take the time to run up there for a quick hike, ski or snowshoe.

Part of the Roger's Loop snowshoe trail

The ski trails connect with the Sunset Loop trail system, as well as with the Marathon Trail that meanders all the way up to Lookout Trails, so conceivably there are many, many kilometers of ski trails.  More often, though, when I'm in town and want a quick outing, I don't have my full outfit of ski clothes and don't want to get all sweaty, so I opt for the mellower snowshoe or hike.  A few days ago, the snowshoe trail was hard enough to hike.  While I know the diehards frown on hiking the snowshoe trail, if I start breaking through, I turn back and give it up, because I know how annoying big holes in the trail are.  However, on Monday, the temperatures were in the teens or 20's so I knew I wouldn't be breaking through.

Late evening (8 pm) sunshine on trail.
The snow levels right now--in mid-April after a winter of below-average snow--was from 0-4 feet.  Under thick boughs where not much snow made it to the ground, there was bare ground, while most other places there was 2-3 feet.  A few years ago a new trail was forged, making a loop trail out of what was once an out-and-back.  It takes me about an hour to snowshoe that loop, which is just about a perfect amount of time.  It is nearly all in the woods, so it is protected from the winds, which was my main concern the other day as the winds have been piercing lately and I wouldn't have ventured out for a beach walk that particular day.

By mid-April the bears usually are coming out of hibernation, so I kept an eye out for tracks but saw nary a sign.  Usually the bears hang out on the other end of the Roger's Loop trail system by the dump, but I avoid that section:  blowing trash, swooping eagles, and raucous crows don't make for as relaxing an experience.

I know it is spring...but it sure doesn't feel like spring here.  Winter came in mid-October, but overall for the winter, it was warm, staying in the 20's and 30's.  But come mid-April when we're ready for the snow to melt, 20's and 30's feels cold.  Bitter winds and snow for the past several days have cemented winter in our minds.  Good thing I like winter sports, but I'm still rooting for sunshine to melt the snow on Homer High's new Olympic-quality track that we're supposed to have a track meet on in 9 days!

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