A weekend of snow and ice storms left me with cabin fever Sunday afternoon, but not wanting to drive too far in light of icy roads across the region.
I made the dubious decision to head over toward Shelving Rock, to see what shape the trails over that way were in. I took my snowshoes, but figured with the crust of ice on the snow, they may not do much good.
I do not recommend Shelving Rock Road this time of year unless you have all-wheel drive.
It is plowed, but most of the state parking areas were not as of Sunday, and the hills and curves were slippery. A couple of guys with high clearance pickup trucks had blasted into a couple of the parking areas, but I wasn't going to chance getting stuck in my trusty Subaru. There is no cell service out that way, and I had seen only two other vehicles for miles.
I found a cleared spot along the road and parked, and made my way to an area where I had seen a snowmobile made some tracks. I followed that trail for a half-mile or so down to the lake, and was met with a lake shrouded in fog and lined by trees glistening with ice.
Log Bay, home to boaters by the thousand during the summer, was devoid of humanity. I walked the lake shore, finding that the ice was pulling away from some rocky spots. I saw one ice fisherman, who told me he caught a couple of perch but it had been a slow day. Open water was visible not too far out past the islands.
The trails to Shelving Rock Mountain and Buck Mountain from the east looked like they hadn't been touched since before last week's big snow. The next person up those mountains will be breaking trail. The Hogtown parking lot was empty.
It was weird to be in this heavily used area of state land on a weekend day, where a summer afternoon will lure thousands to the water and trails, and seeing almost no one.
-- Don Lehman