|"If there's a light in everybody, send out your ray of sunshine" - from Sunshine Song by Jason Mraz|
Conditions at the time were mid-20's for air temp and slick! I would say Anvil Lake is groomed more for classic than skate. Skating was marginal for a few reasons: hikers, dogs, snowshoers and a ridge of a few inches about 2/3 of the width of the trail, for the entire skate-groomed section. It was mildly annoying, but I was more in it for the adventure today than the workout.
The forest is very beautiful. Brilliant sunshine made the snow glitter and I paused for a few photos on the way to the cabin, where the chickadees supposedly are.
West Trail dumps into a central area with a cabin and outhouse. The downhills today were scary fast. I went trucking right past the cabin until I could come to a stop. There was a couple enjoying the birds, and I wandered to a spot a little distance from them. With my mittens off, I scooped a handful of birdseed and held it out, waiting and still breathing with some effort from the difficulty of the "easy" West Trail.
It was truly amazing. Chickadees and nuthatches ate out of my hand for about 20 minutes. The following are a video and many photos. I will write about Lake Loop and East Trail after.
|If I had to pick a favorite photo, this is it.|
What an amazing experience. Communing with chickadees :-)
From there I went in the direction of Lake Loop. It appeared to be pretty much groomed for skate. Until it wasn't. Military and Lake split and at that split, Lake turns into class only. Apparently classic and snowshoe. And hill. It was 3k of narrow ups on a path that had been snowshoed, fast downs in the classic tracks for the most part, double poling and falling. Lots of falling. I think it was 5 times in 3k. Here's Ninemile Lake:
And some interesting scenery:
Back at the cabin where the trails merge, I hopped on East Trail. Similar to West Trail. Hilly, kind of groomed, and via a connector to West I was able to get back to the car with about 12k.
I would recommend going here with classic skis, black oil sunflower seeds (the chickadees have a distinct preference for those), a bottle of water and a camera. Lovely!