Nothing like a brisk hike on a winter day! The sun was out, though tucked behind hills much of the hike, and the creek, partly frozen, chattered and chuckled comfortably along the trail.Spring Creek Loop is a spur off the Centennial and Flume Trails, and can be hiked from Sheridan Lake for a 4 mile hike, or from Spring Creek Trailhead for a 2.5 mile hike. A beautiful option for a quick excursion! The trail is relatively level for the most part, with a few creek crossings over narrow footbridges. A couple of years ago, the footbridges were a disaster and crossing them was a comical chore.Sheridan Lake was at the halfway point on this hike, more or less. The ice on the lake was thick and black and clear, and we skated cautiously out onto it, listening to the ice singing and chattering to itself, scurrying off again when we stood too close together and started a crack which followed us back to shore. Ice fisherman way across the lake had their fourwheelers out, taking advantage of the sunshine. Snow whispered across the gleaming surface of the lake, ghostly and gentle. It was so beautiful and blue under the clear sky.
So many beautiful sights. Hops vines still had their little golden cones hanging from them like Christmas ornaments, and frosty jewels studded the frozen creek, feathery and delicate. What a beautiful afternoon. And what a way to (almost) welcome in the New Year.