I hiked to Franklin Falls. Normally, the hike is 2-miles roundtrip, but the road to the trailhead was narrow, icy, and closed, so I parked off of the I-90 exit and hiked from there. I was feeling energized from brunch, and I ended up running most of the way there and back (7-miles round trip).
Elevation gain was minimal, mostly gentle inclines and declines. There were some particularly steep, slick sections of the trail, and for those I would slide sitting down on my snow pants. But thankfully my hiking boots gave a solid grip on the snow, and I felt secure in my winter trail running.
Everything was covered in snow— the trees, the trail, even the water. The mounds of snow on the water looked surreal.
As I was running across a rusty bridge, I saw someone had graffitied “Beware of clowns!” The warning was duly noted. At the falls, a lot of clowns were milling around, enjoying the payoff of the hike.
Though the temperature had managed to climb above the freezing point for the past few days and the walls were near vertical, some brave clowns were climbing the ice walls, slowly, testing the ice with a pick in each hand. I watched in amazement. The climbers had belayers, but someone had to have set up the rope at the top to begin with.
Water still flowed from Franklin Falls, albeit a trickle compared to the deluge in spring. The mist from the falls had frozen into ice, enclosing the stream of water. I posed under the falls, feeling the spray of the cold water. When I got back down, I noticed that the water on my hair and clothes had instantly frozen into ice. It wasn’t bad though, the run back to the car warmed me up.