“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields (and windshields), that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

This Saturday has been the laziest one I can remember in a while.  I’m still in my pajamas and cozied up in my warm house.  No hiking today, just a house full of teenagers downstairs, and a lazy day of drinking tea and catching up on reading.

First, let me say how stoked I am for the first snow!  I have been having a little fun with predicting the weather for a little over a decade based on a method passed down to me my Great Aunt up in Northern MN.  She probably got it from the Farmer’s Almanac, but no one really remembers.   It is the stuff wives tales are made of and it goes something like this:

 

THE WANDERING PINE SNOW PREDICTION METHOD:

  1. Wait for a HEAVY fog in late summer or early Fall.  This isn’t just normal fog, I like to call it a “Superfog”…the kind that is so thick, you can’t see to the end of the street.  I usually take a screen shot of the Weather App or a photo and keep it on my phone.
  2. Then, count 100 days from the “Superfog”, mark it on your calendar and you should get SNOW on that day!   Since I’m not a meteorologist and I just do it for fun, I give myself a 24 hour window…and it usually happens!

Last weekend’s 80 degree temps had me thinking we would not have snow on the predicted date of 10/28…and lo and behold…  WE GOT A COUPLE OF INCHES on the 27th.  It snowed from about 7am until I went to bed and covered everything in a soft blanket of white.   I’m counting it!   In the last 5 years or so, I’ve taken a shot at predicting a second date if it’s foggy again, but the snow almost never shows up on the second date.  This year’s date #2 for the greater Minneapolis area is Nov 19th.  So, get your boots out, winter is coming!

IMG_6784

Besides relishing in my satisfaction of a fairly accurate first snowfall prediction…I spent most of the day reading and researching some more backpacking sites.  This blog was the gem of the day:

IMPROBABLE BUT POSSIBLE

This blog captures the experience of a SHT Thru Hike in September 2016.  But THE BEST part was the author’s Superior Hiking Trail Worksheet, which contains a gear list, resupply itinerary, meal plans and weather/trail conditions.

WHAAAAAAT?

Of course, I had to take a swing at filling in the gear section of this worksheet (since I was doing absolutely nothing in my pajamas already today).  Thanks @trailvolunteer , if you are reading this…   I have been working on an excel grid from another friend and this takes it up a notch.  It’s so great to compare gear and eliminate extra items!

After a morning of weighing stuff on my food scale and number crunching, I was able to get my pack weight to 23.6 lbs counting 5 days of food, fuel, water and my half of the shared gear.  I’m sure it will fluctuate a little but felt good to see that I could have everything I needed in within a 23-12 lb range (decreasing with food and fuel) and STILL have my chair!  YAY!

Happy (snowy) Trails!

~WP

 

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