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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blizzard Winter Wonderland in Madison, WI

December 20, 2012

Fearing that there wouldn't be a white Christmas in WI, Mother Nature decided to give us a blizzard 5 days before the holiday. With work cancelled and roads impassable due to 20 inches of snow, M and I were stranded in town. We decided to make the best of it and hiked to Owen Conservation Park during the blizzard.

We hiked through knee deep snow to get to the park and along the way, we also watched the National Guard plow the streets. Owen Park consisted of a forest that surrounded a prairie, so once we arrived at the entrance, we first made our way through the forest. On the way in, we noticed that most of the trees were bent over or had fallen onto the path. We slowly trekked over and around trees/bushes, going uphill into the prairie section but couldn't go further due to the winds picking up speed and the snow falling thicker. We decided to cut through another section of woods, figuring we would make our way out of the park along the creek.

Before our turn onto the creek trail, M and I decided to take some pictures. After M took a photo of me, a tree starting creaking behind me. All I remembered was M telling me to run so I ran towards him. We heard a loud crash and branches breaking. We turned and saw that a tree had fallen right over the trail we were just on. Since we were halfway to getting out of the park, we decided not to turn back and retrace our steps but continue on the creek path. We found ourselves hiking at a vivacious pace for fear that more trees might succumb to the 40 mph winds and weight of the snow. M and I were able to get out from the tangled forest and made it home, alive and in one piece.

Lower portion of Owen Park. Started hike at blue dot and did loop in purple. Map from Google Maps

Our front yard on our way to Owen.

The street plowed by National Guard.

Across from Owen Park.

Looking back at the entrance into Owen. We were hiking uphill.

Path in Owen

From the path, we went left and encountered this mess. Hiked up and went to the right. 

The path now was clear and straight ahead was the prairie. M and I turned back around here.

We took a small side trail and went downhill. (Looking back at the trail, we came down from the right )

Trail met up with another trail, looking back at the 2nd trail we didn't take. 

Looking ahead, the trail went deeper into the woods

The surrounding woods in Owen Conservation Park

Surrounding woods in Owen Conservation Park

The tree fell after M took this picture of me.

Looking ahead, we followed this path then veered to the right

The creek along the path we took to get out of Owen Park

M hiking along the creek.

More of the creek trail.

M on the creek trail

M hiking on more of the creek trail

Close to the end of the creek trail. We had to go to the right, climb up a little hill and take the path back to the entrance.