Someone I talked with recently said, “I’m so ready for the snow to go away.” Honestly, I’m not, and I’ll tell you why. Every day is precious to me now that I’m older. Also, my attitude of “taking life slowly” probably has something to do with the fact that I had cancer about four and a half years ago.

Once you have an “ER” experience and you have lived through it, you don’t take “time” for granted! When compared to a chemo day, a bad day in the snow is fantastic! So, while snow in Georgia is gone, snow in North Carolina remains to the tune of several inches.

I had the brilliant idea that we would hike to the top of Siler Bald last Saturday, but that did not happen! When Anne and Pat and I arrived at the trailhead, no one was there! There were car tracks, in and out, but no one was hiking this trail! No one even attempted it

My Subaru did great! It had no problem climbing the icy/snowy hill to the parking lot. The trail to Wayah Bald is sort of across the road from the trail that goes to Siler Bald. But the gates up to Wayah were closed, and we knew this would be the case since Wayah is not accessible until March when AT thru hikers begin their trek from Springer Mountain in Georgia and to Maine and Mt. Katahdin.

We were left just to take in the snowy view realizing if we tried to go forward with Wessy, we could fall and break something. This is ice now. In the beginning it was snow, but after a few night of freezing temps at this elevation, there’s a thick crust of ice on top. I usually do something stupid like try to hike on since we had cleats, but I thought better of it.

Some of the snow was untouched and if you know this trail area, you know that’s amazing. People are usually all over this trail—day and night. But we really did not even see animal tracks.

Other than Wessy’s tracks and a few others from people who came and left quickly. Wessy’s brain is wired so differently than my other dogs, who thought being at home by a fire was a type of outdoor activity!

Winding Stair Gap on the Appalachian Trail (AT) looks so different in snow and ice. No melting here, and I’m sure people will be making snow angels for some time at these elevations! The only one who would have hiked with me was Wessy! Anne and Pat where bundled up in the car with the heat on! And I certainly didn’t stay out long.

With snow on the ground, ice fog had formed earlier that morning leaving everything looking like a winter wonderland.

Here’s the AT. Normally, you would see rocky steps going up. Thus, the reason I didn’t even hike ten feet. I had no idea how deep any step was.

We were told by a local outfitter that this is the rock wall where they teach ice climbing! I chose to publish it in black and white—because I wanted everyone to shiver just looking at the scene. It was cold, folks!

Finally on the way home, we caught a glimpse of a sunset through the trees outside of the Highlands. I don’t know about you, but even when I look at this image, I still feel cold. It’s already been an interesting January 2022!