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Monday, March 15, 2021

Sunday Circuit of Tobyhanna Lake

 Sunday, March 14, 2021

Hi Blog!

It's been nine years since we retired and hit the road. Our brother-in-law use to get so mad at us when we quoted the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey: "What is a weekend?" However, even after all this time, we still appreciate a mellow, sunny Sunday morning. 

A typical Sunday starts after the cats have assured we are awake and they have been fed their tuna. As David feeds the cats, Kathy dons the traditional white silk gi that she received for Christmas. The DVD starts with soothing flute music as our video Tai Qi instructor walks us through the warm up stretches. We may never master the 24 forms, but it's not about perfection. It's all about calm, soothing movements. Tai Qi is the perfect complement to our exercise routine.

Another favorite of Sunday mornings is Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley. After being bombarded with bad news all week long, it is a relief to watch a few good news stories. We try to kick up our Sunday morning breakfasts with some smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese. We found a recipe for making homemade cream cheese with nonfat yogurt. It is a little healthier and we can spice it up any way we want. The current favorite is sundried tomato!

Once we hear the final trumpet fanfare, it's time to start our day. This Sunday, we decided to hike the entire loop around Tobyhanna Lake. While it is only 5.4 miles, there is still quite a bit of snow on the ground, making it more challenging. We left the snowshoes at home and went with our micro spikes. As you can see pictured below, where the sun can reach, the snow has started to melt away.

We knew the winds would be high, but we also knew that most of our hike would be in the woods. For those sections along the lakeshore, you can click this link to watch this video showing how windy the day was

The high winds brought high clouds whose shadows skittered across the surface of the lake.

With each view of the lake, the light, clouds and shadows changed dramatically.

When we take our grandpuppy, Ruthie, for walks along the lake shore, she loves to romp and play in a certain stream. We have come to calling it Ruthie's stream. We have monitored its various phases from being covered in leaves in the fall, to freezing solid in the polar vortex, to being buried in 36 inches of snow. If you are curious, click this link to see this video showing how full Ruthie's stream is with the melting snow.

The beaver dam on Tobyhanna Creek seems to be holding up under the increased flow. We can see sections of fresh mud shoring up the top.  We know the beaver has been busy despite the cold, because we've seen her working on other visits.

The creek is beginning to make inroads into the frozen lake. 

After a couple miles, we found a sunny spot for lunch.

The Frank Gantz Trail connects Tobyhanna State Park to Gouldsboro State Park. Earlier in the year, we hiked several miles of this trail from the Gouldsboro side. We are looking forward to hiking the section from Tobyhanna, but that's for another Sunday.

The white blanket that covered the woods for the past couple months is slowly receding. 

Streams that were frozen solid are burbling again.

As the clouds thicken, the lake takes on a foreboding appearance.

As quickly as the clouds come, they break apart and we are blinded by sunlight and battered by strong winds.

Looking out across the frozen surface of the lake, it is hard to imagine that trout season is just a few short weeks away.

Just as we were finishing our hike, a huge gust of wind pushed us across the parking lot. The poor guy walking his corgi was almost blown over!  I guess there are advantages to being very short, because the corgi was steady as a rock.

We got a brief taste of spring last week, but old man winter isn't done with us yet. If the cold temperatures hold for a day or two, we might get one for ski day. Stay tuned.

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