Ice Hike in Fontenelle Forest – Omaha, NE

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Went out for a little hike around the flat bit of Fontenelle Forest near the Missouri River. I didn’t know how iced over the trails would be and didn’t want to be slip-sliding up and down the hilly bits of Fontenelle as I don’t have any crampons or any other traction aids for my shoes. You wouldn’t imagine as Omaha as a place for crampons but we get snow here and then during the day it warms up and melts, and at night it freezes again creating a permanent skating rink anywhere that hasn’t been cleared of snow.

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The bridge that got destroyed in one of my previous posts has been completely removed and they’ve just built a new bridge on top of the fallen tree. Serendipity and a bit of creativity have created a much improved bridge.

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Winter creates such a different world. I’ve hiked these trails a lot and the difference through the seasons can be a bit staggering at times. These are flood plains and winter is no exception, wood planks that are used to cross swampy bits are now encased in ice. The ice cracks and water bubbles up as you try and make your way through these sections. In places you can hear water trickling down the streams from earlier snow melt. Sound is absorbed by the blanket of snow. All you can hear is the crunch of your boots and the trickle of unfrozen water. This is serenity.

Now if only my face didn’t hurt from the cold.

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