Dec. 8, 2005
7:30 a.m. found us walking through snowy woods on the old dirt road down to Smith Creek, on our way to cavort amongst the boulders and maybe snap a few pictures there while we were at it. It was the first day of my winter vacation and a far cry from the way I had been spending my time just 24 hours before, slaving away at a keyboard and trying to suppress panic as reports started to come in from all over the department that the database we all depended on for our day-to-day operations was not functioning. Fortunately the problem yielded to my efforts fairly quickly, and I was able to start my holiday later that day, and with any luck forget all about anything having to do with the office for a few weeks.

Broad, flat tires are great for driving on a dry highway, but they're no good for climbing up snow-covered mountain roads, as we had discovered earlier this morning. We made it through the second turn going up Cave Mountain Road, just where it starts getting steep, but then the tires started spinning out and our forward motion slipped to zero. I felt very lucky to be able to get the car turned around and get us safely back down to level road without sliding off the mountain, but that left us without our plan A and plan B, which were both up on Cave Mountain.

But Smith Creek in the snow sounded like a fine plan C, and we were only minutes away from the access point to the preserve; so off we went. A great way to kick off Christmas break!

This Back Light photo was taken at the Yama turn of Richland Creek in the spring of 2003. The yama turn is the name I use for the place in the creek where the south-side trail first drops back down to the creek, maybe about a third of a mile or so from the campground.