The temperature reached 53 degrees in St. Charles today. The past couple weeks, it has been in the teens or single digits. When I walked out to my car this afternoon, the sunshine and warm air hit me like a tropical breeze. I couldn’t believe it. No one’s in town anymore and my parents were at work, so I knew it was a solo hike day.
I have lots of favorite hikes in Columbia, but not really here. I chose the Katy Trail because it’s close to my mom’s house. I was grateful for waterproof hiking boots as I slogged through snow, slush and soggy gravel. The hike had two highlights. First was the partially frozen Missouri River. I’ve seen it frozen from a distance, but never up-close until today. Huge snow/ice circles covered most of the surface and rushed with the current. The river made a slooshing sound as the melting islands brushed against the snow-clad shore.
The second highlight was a hill coated in icicles. They were the kind of monster icicles that you see on the rocks along the interstate. Again, never seen them so close up. They were hauntingly beautiful. They reminded me of giant daggers or of cave formations. I wanted to get a shot looking up at them from underneath, but I didn’t dare. They were dripping from the sudden warmth and some had already fallen.
Usually, a solo hike on a warm day is enough to melt away all of my bad feelings. I couldn’t help feeling negative today, despite the sudden warm weather. Hopefully I’ll shake this funk soon.