123: Toughening up

(Back at The Blue Wall.)

I think yesterday’s adventures toughened me up.  When I went out for my walk today, it didn’t feel so bad.  But I’ll get to that in a little while.  Let’s go back to The Blue Wall first.  (If you missed the first part of the hike to The Blue Wall, scroll down or click here.)

It almost makes me shiver just looking at it.  One more and then we’ll walk over to the covered bridge.

When we finished at The Blue Wall we retraced our steps (easily done in the snow), climbed back up to the top of the ravine, and then headed back to the camp where we took a short break before walking down the road to the covered bridge.

(Unpaved road that leads to the camp and the covered bridge.)

Before stepping out into the road, our guide looked both ways in case one of these guys happened along:

(Horse, sled, and Amish man.)

That photo was taken on our way home and not on the road to the covered bridge.  In the directions we received, we were instructed to drive slowly once we reached the road the camp is on because there is a lot of horse and buggy traffic.  I was really hoping an Amish buggy or sled would come by, but it didn’t happen.  We saw the guy above on one of the major, paved roads.  If you look closely, you’ll notice there are no wheels.  That’s because it was a sled and not a buggy.

(The group making their way to the bridge.)

If you like covered bridges, Ashtabula County Ohio is a good place to visit.  There are 17 covered bridges in Ashtabula County.  The bridge we visited is one of them.

(Windsor Mills Bridge.)

The Windsor Mills bridge spans Phelps Creek.  It was built in 1867 and was renovated 2002-2004.  M and I went back so he could drive through it after we finished our hike.  Because he likes that sort of thing.  We thought about driving around to look for some of the other bridges but we were pretty tired from the early rising, the hiking, and the cold.  We’ll go back another time.

(Inside the Windsor Mills Bridge.)

We took a driving tour of covered bridges in southern Ohio a few years back.  Boy did we get lost on those back country roads!  Ohio is not particularly good at putting up street signs so it’s difficult, even with a map, to know where you are.  I have a feeling it isn’t much different in northeastern Ohio so it should be fun getting lost in Ashtabula County.  You never know what you might come across when you get lost.

For more information about Ashtabula County’s covered bridges, you can visit the Ashtabula County Ohio Covered Bridge Festival website.

Not so bad

That’s how I felt today when I stepped outside.  It was not so bad.  I must be getting used to the cold.  Toughening up.  Becoming a hardier winter soul.

(In the woods.)

The sunshine and blue sky helped.  It was also a little warmer, around 10°F.  It’s up to a balmy 14°F now.  We had some brief snow showers this morning.  Nothing much.  Just enough to freshen up the top of the snow cover.

(By the creek.)

I haven’t been back to the woods or the creek in a few days.  Maybe more than a few days.  It’s been either cold or icy, both conditions keeping me from making the trek.  As you can see in the above photo, it’s icing over.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen it completely frozen over.  It’ll be interesting to see if that small channel of running water is still there tomorrow.  It is expected to be near zero again tonight.

(Still flowing.)

The pond continues to drain, probably due to the pressure from the ice and snow on top.  I thought for sure the pond would be frozen over, but my foot broke right through the ice when I started to apply pressure by stepping on it.  Good thing I was prepared for that and didn’t put all of my weight down or I’d have come back with a wet foot.  My snow boots are not waterproof.  I’m loving these, in case you’re interested.

(At the back of the pond.)

It was, surprisingly, an enjoyable walk.  This is one of those days in which I am happy with my commitment to get outside every day.  Otherwise, I might have stayed indoors, thinking it was too cold, missing all the beauty that’s out there for us to enjoy today.