Classes don't start until after the MLK holiday and I just finished some work on a paper so I decided to do a quick overnight trip. It's been very cold recently which has kept me indoors. It's warmer now and I wanted to get out and do some camping in the snow before it melts. I went back to Buford Mountain where mydaughter and went last year. I was hoping there would be significant snow on the mountain and nice views of the nearby valley blanketed in snow. I was a bit disappointed on both counts but had a nice trip anyway.
It has been so cold this past week that I figured I might be the first person to hike since the snow fell. So I was surprised to see someone else's footprints on the trail, indicating that some stouthearted soul had braved the single digit temperatures. It looked like he had brought a dog along. However after a few hundred yards the man's footprints disappeared but the dog's continued. So maybe this dog (or coyote more likely) is a hiking enthusiast. His tracks seemed to follow the trail.
I hiked up at night and camped near the top, not far from where Natalie and I had camped before. In the morning I decided to hike farther down the trail. Interestingly the coyote, or whatever it was, apparently had the same idea a few days before. So my tracks look like I took a dog along for the hike.
My goal was to hit all the peaks in the Buford Mountain Conservation Area. In particular I wanted to get to Bald Knob, a glade on top of one of the peaks, that I hoped would provide some views.
Bald Knob is a mass of large stones that looks nice in the snow, even when it's only an inch deep as on this occasion. Previous hikers have built a cairn to mark where the trail continues since you couldn't make out a trail on the glade itself. I decided not to continue around (I had a meeting in the early afternoon that I had to get back to) but just stopped for a while to enjoy the view.
The view of the nearby valley is also nice but for some reason most of the snow was gone. That really puzzled me since it hasn't been above freezing since the snow fell. But it was a nice view in any case.