Fort Lincoln at the last minute

This is how deep the snow was at the Fort Lincoln visitors’ center on New Year’s Eve day. I went out to get in my final hike for the 12 Months-12 Hikes Challenge hosted by North Dakota Parks & Recreation, and I picked a fantastic day for it. Not only did I get to make some sort of statement by doing my final hike on the last possible day (one of procrastination, no doubt), but I also got to enjoy the last beautiful winter day of 2022.

I actually took the opportunity to wander all over the park. I went to the base of the hill where the blockhouses rest, but the snow was far too deep and crusty for that. I enjoyed all the frost on the pine trees along the way, though, and the general beauty of the park area.

I tried to hike the trail on the southwest corner of the park, but had to turn back due to my lack of snowshoes. I keep claiming I’m going to buy a pair of snowshoes someday, but that day has not yet arrived. So I headed to the interpretive trail instead.

Here we go: far more accessible. I walked across the bridge to take in some of the sights of the On-A-Slant Village, trudging along as far as I could before reaching the deeper snow.

Here we see the genius of the earth lodge design. Those look very well insulated. As long as one can keep the roof open and keep the fire going, I bet it could be downright toasty in there over the winter.

Here’s some more of that beautiful frost which adorned everything that morning. I knew the frost would be there; on Friday night, as I headed home from Applebee’s, I noted the thick blanket of fog that had moved in. With temperatures like we’re enjoying – ahem, experiencing – right now, that fog is guaranteed to accumulate on any available surface.

One does not simply take a camera to Fort Abraham Lincoln and not take a photo of this bridge on the way out. As you can see, the river is iced up completely for the winter, and there are some really nice, curvy drifts of snow on this side of the bridge. Overall quite the scenic stop.

Then it was time to move on and wrap up some other end-of-year business, the Challenge having been accepted – and met successfully – for 2022. Now it’s time to get ready for the 2023 12 Months-12 Hikes Challenge and do it all again! There are so many cool parks and qualifying trails, we’ll get to pick a bunch of new ones this year to go along with our established favorites.

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