Sunday am forecast said -22 with windchill -31, so I deliberated for a
while about whether we should go ahead with the hike or go back to
bed! Fortunately, fortitude prevailed and nine intrepid souls showed
up, all decked out in appropriate winter wear. I had previously
decided to change the venue to Eb's Trails as I surmised that the snow
and the terrain at the Wakaw Hills site would likely present more of an
ordeal to navigate than most people would like.
It turned out to be a good decision, as the wind chill virtually
disappeared once we entered the forest surrounding the North Hut. Glen
and Sandra had a head start on the S'tooners and had the stove fired up
when we arrived. We headed out on a short pre-lunch loop on Jorgen's
trail & around back to the hut via Sask '60. I poured over the map
during lunch to make up a 2-hr. jaunt to get us back to the hut in
time to drive back to Wakaw for the original supper we had all braved
the unseasonable weather for! I also wanted an afternoon trek with
more terrain challenge and variety, so we headed down the Beaverlodge to
the South Hut & then on to the Lookout Ridge trail.
I hadn't skied Lookout Ridge for a few years and have never hiked it
before, so had forgotten how hilly it is. Needless to say there was a
lot of slip-sliding on the downhills and one of our party whose very
warm looking boots which had no traction whatsoever, ended up
"tobogganing" down the hills on his keester!
Fortunately my grippy winter boots allowed me to take it easy and enjoy
the trail-side scenery. And I had an epiphany of sorts as a result of
slowing down & looking around. I noticed things I never saw zooming
down the hills on skis and concentrating on no-backslip uphill climbs. I
saw one section of exceptionally beautiful mature jackpine & white
spruce, very healthy, tall & straight with little under-story, all
looking so park-like! I tho't - my how the lumber barons would love to
get at those beautiful specimens! So, hiking has my vote for slowing
down, seeing more and appreciating more of what we see!
The rolling, lackadaisical Sask '60 trail got us back to the hut in
time to reach the Wakaw supper to get second table in line for the
usual tasty smorg. Ron & Audrey Sereda showed up & joined us, so I had
a chinwag with Ron about his wanderings in the general area. I also
asked if he had sculpted the attractive new bench at the Jorgen & Sask
'60 trail junction, as we had all assumed it was his handiwork. "No",
he told me. So, the mystery wood sculpturer has yet to be identified!
Cliff Speer - hike leader & skiing instructor