Cross Trail in the Snow

Temperatures did drop to 23F overnight, but it was already in the upper 20s, by the time I was up and out at mid-morning. This time of year the sun certainly feels warmer, and even with an official high of only 33F, it did not feel especially cold while out in the sun.

It remained clear for much of the day, though by a bit before sunset this evening (now at around 7pm, with daylight savings starting last night) leading edge of the system forecast to bring some snow overnight was getting close to town.

Despite the chilly morning, a Song Sparrow was singing in the yard. I don’t know if it’s one that will be heading north very soon, or perhaps one of the year-round residents.

I met up with Kitty and we walked a new section of the cross trail that is still under construction. It’s not technically open yet, and has quite a bit of work left before it will be finished (due to be completed around the end of this year). For that reason, I had not yet checked it out. However, I had heard from a couple of different folks that it was walkable for a ways at least (where they aren’t actively working), and based on the number of tracks I saw in the snow today (and the six other people we passed in the hour or less we were on it), there are quite a few people who have been utilizing it even in its incomplete state.

We accessed it through the Granite Creek quarry area, though in the future I would probably go from Harbor Mountain road (it’s not fully connected yet, but close enough to relatively easily get from the road down to the trail). I had never been back to the quarry area before (just caught glimpses from Harbor Mountain road), and it seemed significantly larger than I might have guessed.

Initially I tried driving up a road with a bit of snow on it (there were tracks already there), thinking it would lead to a parking area. Unfortunately it was a little too steep and slippery for my car to handle (the tires it has do not perform well in snow). I ended up needing to back down, I came close to going a little too far off the side, but fortunately did not get stuck.

Granite Creek was much smaller than I would have guessed, I’m sure part of that is just the current conditions, but I suspect there may be subsurface flow where the trail cross the creek, and by the time it’s down at Halibut Point Road, more of that is on the surface.

There were a couple of nice views of Mt. Edgecumbe which I noticed on the return (since I had my back to them on the way up).

In general I don’t really prefer walking on the wide gravel trails (which are not really much different than gravel roads, except for no vehicle traffic), as it feels like just a step up from walking along the road. However, it is nice get where the trails are going, and I’ll look forward to exploring a bit more in the coming months and years.

On the way back I noticed a set of bear tracks. The prints were fairly large, and I was a little surprised I had not noticed them on the way out. I’m guessing they were probably made yesterday, though if snow fell out there last evening like it did at my house, they could have been from sometime last night.

Gulls were in the channel again today, but I did not spot any that looked unusual.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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