The temperatures had been up and down, cold one day warm the next. But it’s still winter and the thermometer read 25 degrees as I left the house, still considered cold in most places. Not real cold, but cold enough to keep the mountain lonely. That’s good, I like it better without troops of hiking club members turning the trail into a social event.
The mud from yesterday hadn’t frozen solid overnight and a good part of the trail was crunchy underfoot as I stepped through the surface frost to the muck underneath. That’s ok, my boots were mud proof.