How’s that for a catchy title—either it makes you groan out loud or, intrigued, keep on reading. And of course, fowl weather is totally a matter of perspective—as long as light and heat is available in the barn, hens continue to lay and remain active. And as long as there is snow, we continue to search out new adventures.
Driving up from Saratoga, leaving at o’dark thirty before the cock even thought about crowing, us Stryders admittedly had a few second thoughts. Exit 15 featured more snow than our turnoff at Exit 37 which bore more of a resemblance to a brown desert of dead grass. But not to worry, the trails of the New Land Trust at Saranac were ruled over by one saucy cock who was determined to claim his rightful slot in the 2017 Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rooster . We all know that roosters demand the center of attention and what better way than to safeguard the snow in his dominion from unwanted intruders such as the high temperatures and melting rains prevalent elsewhere?
Not only were the snow conditions perfect, but Cock-A-Doodle Shoe, which has a reputation for inflicting us with below zero temperatures, rolled in with balmy twenty degree readings. On the way over we drove through numerous snow squalls and Jen Ferriss fretted that she would rather enjoy a sunshiney day, while I insisted that all snow is a gift. Turned out the course glistened with new snow, most of which continued to fall while the sun shone! It seemed like there were more people there, but conversely, the warming hut seemingly expanded, as folks were actually enjoying standing outside in the sun instead of huddled inside by the stove.
The course was well-marked, with arrow signs placed at trail level and not up in a tree somewhere. But then roosters are not great flyers and they totally get foot travel. Accustomed to patrolling his territory and protecting his harem from outsiders, our rooster displayed an innate feel for the lay of the land and also enjoyed showing off his knowledge of semantics with such amusing trail names as Zen, Sidewinder and Growler. As a glance at the online map confirms, the route mazes over, under and around itself, each trail somewhat resembling the one before. While I have a reputation for wandering off course, I usually have a pretty good sense of where I am in relation to the parking lot. But after following the rooster’s rambling chicken scratchings, I finally gave up and just let the route unfold.
True to his attention-getting nature, our particular rooster had one final trick up his sleeve. After all the raffles and trademark injinji socks had been distributed, he called us together for one more distinctive touch, awarding homemade cock’s crowns to the fastest athletes. It was really neat seeing the honorary flock heading to the parking lot sporting their well-earned headgear!
By laura clark