MORSE MOUNTAIN IN WINTER!
After snowing most of the day off and on, the sun came out and said........let's go somewhere! It was high tide, so I wasn't sure where to proceed as I headed down the road. I decided to try climbing Morse Mountain. I used to think that was impossible in a snowy winter, but have learned that the houses on the top of the mountain are available for renters even in winter. Someone has to get up there, one way or another. The parking lot was plowed, but the roads were not cleared beyond the Gatehouse Lane. However, some vehicle had left deep tracks in the snow, and I observed footprints and ski tracks in those tracks. So I set out, able to hike with cleats and a pole, rather comfortably. The early snow had left everything a brilliant white, but also hampered tracking animals. I headed down to the marsh crossover and realized it would be almost impossible to drive across with any vehicle. Recent high tides had left huge chunks of ice on the road. How the tide manages to come in and out under our frigid conditions is amazing. Most everything was frozen with only a small open area by the "troll bridge".

There was about an hour left before sunset, so I decided to climb the rest of the way to the top of the mountain. There were also snowshoe tracks, but those were not fresh. I detected where a deer had bedded down by the side of the road. How any animals survive in these conditions gives one pause. I did find tracks believed to be porcupine's where I had seen them last year disappearing under rocks. Once at the top, I enjoyed the view in the still air. The wind tower that provides energy for the houses was barely turning. As cold as it was, without wind, it was surprisingly comfortable, but don't ask me how many layers I had on. I decided to head back down before the sunset since hiking alone is always somewhat fearful. I did have a cell phone, but not sure if it would work in that remote area. On my way back to the parking lot, I met up with the skier who claimed to have not only gone to the top, but down the other side of the mountain! I can't imagine his climbing back up from the beach on skis since it is quite steep in places. He, too, was alone and chose to get out before dark. 1/25/11 Ronnie on the mountain.