December 19, 2013.
It was unusually warm (mid 60’s!) for a few days in December, so we decided to check out Gaudineer Knob. We assumed it would still have some snow, so we were prepared to hike the road up to the knob. Immediately when we stepped out of the car, we were knee-deep in snow. Thankfully, someone had driven to the top recently, so we hiked along in the tire tracks.
The snow had melted off of the trees on this section. A few pieces were icy, but it wasn’t bad hiking aside from that. We made a brisk pace up the road. Despite the snow, it was warm enough that we only needed a long sleeved shirt and jeans to stay warm enough. We reached the sign pointing to the picnic area after a long, leisurely hike and set off toward the picnic area, where the overlook is. The snow hadn’t melted out of the trees in this section.
And the spruce dramatically increased in numbers. It was beginning to melt due to the sunshine, but plenty was still on the weighed-down branches of the spruce trees. It looked like we were walking in a Christmas card:
The snow was also less deep in this section, which made for a bit of an easier hike. We even found a maglite flashlight buried in the snow here. Bonus! Anyway, we finally made it to the picnic area, and the start of the overlook trail.
However, neither of us had ever been to the area, and the snow was still around 2 feet deep. We had no idea where the trail was and we didn’t feel like getting lost. Obviously, the tire tracks stopped here, since it’s the parking area. No footprints existed in the area, so we started down the unbroken snow path until we came to the former Gaudineer fire tower site. From there, it was impossible to tell which direction the trail went due to the amount of snow and the large spaces between all of the trees. We decided to turn back at this point instead of risking getting lost in the snowy forest near sunset.