Monday, January 19, 2009

Ice Hike

NATURALLY we had to pick a day of near-freezing temperatures and after overnight rain to take a trip to Stone Mountain Park. Not that the cold per se was a problem; instead it was our chosen walking route, which took us around the bottom of the mountain and across wide expanses of exposed granite. Correction - exposed ice.

This was a sight we hadn't expected, and was really quite wonderful! Large but thin sheets of ice covered the smooth rock, melting from the inside out and causing little rivulets of water and air bubbles to trickle down beneath the icy cover. Emma soon discovered that while 'ice skating' on her feet was fun, sliding down on her bottom was way more exciting, and we quickly gave up trying to keep her dry. Some parts of the ice could be easily cracked with a light step, others required stomping or stabbing with a stick.

The steeper sections presented quite a puzzle finding the safest way to cross, and it was a toss-up who was in the trickier situation: Thomas with his slippery trainers (sneakers), dog on a lead and wobbly pre-schooler, or me with sensible hiking boots but the baby obscuring my view to the front and below and backpack on my back. We have the best ideas!! We hopped our way across, picking the safest path on moss and lichen-covered rock to avoid the slippy sections. Hmm, living organisms must be warmer than dead plant material, since there were plenty of fallen leaves and particularly pine needles frozen into the ice, but no living plants. Soon we arrived at the woods, where it was instantly warmer and the perfect picnic spot appeared.

Photo by Brett Rogers

No comments: