Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Roads Closed!

When Carole and I decided to take the sled up to the high country to try some hills, our plan was to hit a state park where there are plenty of hills and no worry about trespassing on private property. The nearest park where we knew there to be appropriate grassy slopes covered in snow was Stone Mountain State Park. Upon arriving we found the gate lowered and the park closed. At this place the snow was about ten inches deep. Bad, but not horribly so. And it was still snowing at that time. Still...we were disappointed and headed to the next possible park: New River.

However, while for some reason the park service had opted to plow the road and open the park, we found that there were no good places to sled. Too many trees and no open fields. Okay, fine. We then headed toward Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. It used to be a state park, but was downgraded to "Natural Area" for various reasons (park size being one of them). At first it looked as if the park was going to be open. We drove up the road until we saw a barrier and a sign indicating that the road (and the park) were closed. Shit.

We didn't discover until later that snowfall totals at most of these parks was in excess of two feet. Too much snow for the parks to safely open. In fact, Mount Mitchell State Park not far from where we were at one point, recorded 66 inches of snowfall during the storm. Impressive.

Still, we had a good time walking around in the snow and taking photos.

Park closed. Alas.

White pines in the snow.

Deep snow (about fourteen inches here, we were told. But no good spots to sled!

I started the video just a little too late to catch a pair of white-tail does running across the road in front of us.

Goodbye till later, New River State Park!

We thought we'd visit the dairy in downtown West Jefferson and buy some fresh butter. But they were closed. Everything was closed.

The creaking noise was made by two hardwood trees growing so close together that their trunks were grinding against one another in the wind.

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