guess what. i went on a winter hike in january wearing nothing but a fleece and a t-shirt (and long underwear, a warm hat, thick socks, and ice cleats, but shhhh… nevermind all that). unbelievable. i’m ready for this january thaw to end, but it really was a treat to hike a mountain and feel the warm sun on my skin on the summit. my friend had an extra pair of ice cleats for me to wear and suggested this hike for a fun morning adventure. and better yet i consider this my first ever winter mountain hike. technically i hiked a 941ft mountain in january a few years ago, but this was the first time i crossed icy granite outcrops and looked down upon a large wintery valley. it’s one of my goals to do more winter hiking. i want to see a summit after a fresh snow, with its spruce trees covered in white in that magical way. i’ll have to borrow snow shoes, of course, but i think this winter might be the one to make it happen. the trail up THIS mountain was still very icy, and there were a few comical moments of slipping and sliding. i was also excited to see some evergreen ferns on the hike. the sight of green, feathery ferns in the dead of winter seems so unusual to me. i suppose i’ve never really noticed them on my winter walks before. i’ll be sure to keep an eye out in the future. a bit of green surrounded by snow is one of my favorite sights. it’s why i treasure hemlocks so dearly – their brilliant green just pops during the winter months and their presence gives me comfort during the coldest and darkest of times.