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Nineteen TrailBlazers and one canine under the lead of Captain Linda headed to Lake Fort Smith on a very mild, but gray day to check out a new trail for us, Shepherd Springs Loop. We avoided the rain, thanks to Yours Truly, who brought her heavy raincoat and her old camera with the chip in the lens to successfully foil any precip with her advanced version of reverse psychology! As we trekked along, we had several glimpses of the large lake that seems to go on forever.

Once we started on the loop we had a good workout with lots of ups and downs, rocks on the trail, boulders everywhere, and interesting fungi on the trees, thick vines, ivy-covered trees, and lovely ferns. We found a great lunch spot with a neat view of Jack Creek. Returning on the OHT trail along the edge of the lake, we did plenty of foot watching as we negotiated some rocky areas and benefited from some helping hands. Everybody was really warm with temps in the 70s and very high humidity. We drove back with AC in December!

On the way home we were treated to dessert at the neat new home of Holli and Dave who gave us the grand tour of their home decked out with lovely Christmas decorations. We shamelessly wolfed down pie, cupcakes, nuts, and four flavors of ice cream to be polite, (yeah, right!), but mostly because it was really great. What a way to end our 2015 hikes! A big thank you to Holli and Dave! Have a Merry and a Happy!