This was the first overnight trip of the 2010-2011 winter season. A solo adventure.
I had planned this trip a week ahead with intentions of backpacking north about a mile and a half to Gov. Clement shelter but en route, with the newly fallen snow, I could not make it down Upper Cold River rd to where the trail crosses so a last minute change of plans was needed. I took the Lower Cold River rd to the trail crossing and went south. I could not go north due to a river crossing and with recent rainfall the river was quite swollen and crossing it would have been too risky....so southbound it was.
I entered the trail at Cold River Rd and instantly I was in heaven. Six inches of fresh snow had fallen, the air was crisp at fifteen degrees and not one footprint was on the trail. The hike in was gorgeous; a moderate, short three miles on a pristine trail ( did some maintenance on this section a few weeks prior ) and after an hour and a half I arrived at Clarendon shelter. When I arrived, I ate a quick lunch and then collected firewood for the evening. Luckily, there had been high winds a few weeks before so a lot of "blow-downs" were in the area. I had an endless supply of dry seasoned firewood. How convenient.
The fire ring was covered in snow and when I went to clean it out I noticed a piece of sheet metal so all I had to do was lift it and viola, my fire pit was ready to go.