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Willow Springs Lake Snowshoe, AZ
mini location map2013-02-18
15 by photographer avatarchumley
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Willow Springs Lake Snowshoe, AZ 
Willow Springs Lake Snowshoe, AZ
 
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 18 2013
chumley
Snowshoeing4.44 Miles 200 AEG
Snowshoeing4.44 Miles   4 Hrs   7 Mns   1.51 mph
200 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hippy
Hippy had a rare Monday off, but I was supposed to work. I decided to take the day off and honor President Fillmore with a day enjoying some winter weather in the high country.

Hippy had been wanting to do some winter hiking, and being a desert rat, I thought that it might be a good idea to give her a warm up to get her acquainted with the added effort required when there's snow involved. We were very lucky in that the weather was ideal ... mid 40s, sunny, and no wind. The snow ranged from bare in spots to 18", with a few deeper spots. The sunny areas had frozen and crusted over, but the shaded areas were still deep and powdery. It made for a nice variety of terrain to get used to snowshoeing through.

We parked at the end of FR148, after plowing through the crusty foot-deep snow with my front skid plate. There were a couple of snowmobile tracks out on the ice and some signs of ice fishing, so I felt pretty comfortable about heading out there. I did some safety checks near the edge and eventually was able to determine that the solid ice was over 8" thick, with some extra snow/slush/ice on top of it. Having grown up playing ice hockey on a pond near my parents house, I knew that 3" was plenty for a couple of people to walk. The snowmobile tracks were of course an additional feel-good confirmation.

So we headed out across the lake and along the west shore a ways. As we were getting hungry I decided we should eat lunch at the dam. But when we got there, we headed out onto the lake to a lonely, lost dock frozen in the middle of the lake instead. The sun was warm and we spent about an hour out there enjoying the solitude before I wrote a few fun things in the snow on the lake. While running around "writing" I caused the ice to settle and made a fantastic cracking noise, which made Hippy feel a bit uncomfortable.

Having spent a childhood on ice, I am familiar and comfortable with ice settling and cracking, but it does take a little getting used to! So Hippy and I headed for the shore and then back toward the car. Another lake crossing was mostly effortless, though there was a slushy spot where a crack was actually letting water up to the surface. The ice was always plenty thick, but the warm sun makes me think that there might not be too many more weeks before it's not safe to be out there anymore.

Back at the truck, we headed over to Rim Vista for a quick hike to see the views of the Sierra Ancha and Mazatzals. Perfect views of Four Peaks and Mt Ord!

I was really happy to get out and enjoy some Arizona winter, and I think Hippy enjoyed "getting her feet wet" on her first snowshoe experience without having too much mileage or elevation change to deal with.
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chumley's
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