Sunday, April 21, 2019

Cox Hill Almost + Odd Ridge April 21, 2019

In the past I have said that's it!  I have declared never again!  I have stated I'm done with this place!  Yet, I go again!  Today I went again!  At the end of today I thought to myself I don't ever need to go back here!  But I know I will hike up there again!  Today we decided on hiking up to Cox Hill.  I have been many times in the spring and sometimes we make it to the top, other times we turn back.  Today we turned back!  
With a gorgeous day on hand, a friend contacted me to see if I was game to hit the hills.  I was keen for the shorter drive so we could be in the playground sooner and spend longer there.  The further up the Cox Hill Trail we hike, the deeper the snow became.  I was surprised at how much snow was still there!  Or should I be surprised, I believe I say I am surprised every time I am up here in spring.  
We agreed to assess the slope when we got to the opening to see if it looked user-friendly to ascend.  We agreed it did and went on our way.  The snow was packed with footsteps to follow.  We continued along the long switchback and then completed a straight up section and we turned right to continue on, we both stopped pretty much at the same time and decided this was not for us today.  With in a matter of a very short time the snow was becoming softer and not supportive on the slope.  Balls of snow had been rolling down.  We did an about face and got off the slope, then out to the meadow.
I don't think these are from the Easter Bunny!
We began to hike back and I felt disappointed.  This was not the first time I have been here in the spring when we did not go all the way to the top.  My mind was heading down in the dumps. We reached the view point and stopped there for an early lunch.  I acknowledged today was Easter Sunday.
It's Easter!
We discussed what to do.  I went into "save the day" mode.  We wanted more.  I wanted to feel like I accomplished something.  Even though we covered lots of kilometers and elevation gain already, it was not satisfying.  The views were beautiful and loads of great conversation took place, we were getting tonnes of fresh air and exercise, yet my mind was still in that unfulfilled place.
We conjured up a plan as we were reaching the end of the Cox Hill Trail and nearing the Dawson Parking Lot. Instead of heading to the Parking Lot and calling it a day, we hiked out to the Powderface Road and along it for a bit, to where we could see the slopes on the other side.  We found a spot where we could ascend up to a ridge.
We meandered through meadows, up more hills, through meadows and up even more slopes.  The views were quite nice.  It was hot, it was very dry up here, and by now my spirits were lifted.  This meandering, this bushwhacking, this route finding, was doing it for me.  Here is Moose Mountain right behind me and that is Cox Hill to the right.
My friend was eyeing Cox Hill being able to see the trail in the snow and was looking to see if she could see others on it.  She was game to continue exploring, so we went for it. 
We climbed a bit higher and found our way through the trees.  
We could see the turn off onto Powderface Road a way off over there.
From our highest point we spied an open meadow with structures.  We descended down off the ridge and worked our way over to the open space.  When we came out of the trees this was in front of us.  The coast looked clear and we curious as to what this was all about.
The signs stated this is where you cut down Christmas Trees on Saturdays and Sundays in December.  
This place must be used for other reasons.  There had been recent activity in the fire pit.  There was loads of freshly cut wood.  We sat on the logs around the fire pit to rest and had snacks. It was a beautiful day and we basked in its glory.
This was our view.
That's Cox Hill in the middle.
It was time to begin wrapping up our day.  For me, I now felt content.  This little add on and discovery did it for me.   In hind sight, did the day really need saving when we did not make it to the top of Cox Hill!  In hind sight, I realize I needed an attitude adjustment.  We left this meadow behind and I looked behind as we did.  The clouds that had developed were so pretty.  I like the little up and down cloud lines that are faintly visible underneath the big white cloud, to the right of that hill.
We left the meadow in a different place than where we entered it.  We could see the little dirt road would bring us out to Powderface Road.  We realized too when we got here the gate was locked.  We did what we needed to do.
A mere few minutes after leaving the meadow, the Conservation Officer drove along.  
By this time though we were walking along the edge of Powderface, good timing.  
After a short stretch along here we were back at the Parking Lot gearing down.
My attitude was adjusted, my spirits lifted, I was happy & content.  
Truly I am grateful for  every single second I am afforded the opportunity to be "out & about".  

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