New Year's Eve, parked at the trailhead for an annual hike organized by "Vagabond Jeff". I am approached by I think Peter, someone whom I had never met. He stated he had wanted to meet me which prompted my perplexed response, "Why?" Turns out, he had participated in a 5k race back in the 90's and then every time he saw my name signed up for a group hike, he thought it would be funny to give me the shirt he earned for participating in the race. It was a funny moment and yes, I kept the shirt.
Nineteen of us head for Safford Peak, in the distance on the right. It was very windy and still cold, mid 40's. Of course, around here, everyone dresses like it is in the 20's.
We cover some rolling terrain under sunny skies but the clouds soon roll in, signaling yet another approaching cold front. I keep telling myself this unusual cold weather can't continue and then I look at an updated 10 day forecast and discover, why yes it can.
A rare trail finding mistake my Jeff has us off trail in the brush but we soon find our way back on track. At a ridge we.....
….regroup as the line of hikers has become strung out.
Interesting use of a sweater to turn it into a scarf.
Smiles abound as we have got one of four good climbs out of the way. As we wait, my plans changed though and I decide I don't want to visit the peak as it may jeopardize my participation in an event a bit later in the day.
The group embarks on climb #2 as I had for the barn. The approaching front brought another round of mountain snow and I'll have some neat images soon.