Under damp, cloudy skies twenty-three TrailBlazers headed up toward Cass to hike Redding Loop, a new hike for the club, but one some of us have done before. Of course our doomsday forecasters had been predicting all sorts of cold and blustery weather for later in the day, but we hit the trail early when conditions were damp, but good. It must have rained overnight because when the winds blew aloft we were treated to raindrops falling from the treetops. 

Starting up the west loop we trekked gently upward on a pine needle carpet, a real foot pleaser. Almost all the leaves were down, but most of the views were partially obscured by a hazy skyline. It was cool, but not really cold except in one exposed area where it was fairly windy. The sun made a few half-hearted attempts to smile at us, but it eventually gave up. At the halfway point it was possible to take a side trip to Spy Rock. As we started down the east loop we ran into some hikers with a cute puppy, abandoned at the parking lot. He was following them up the trail and feasting on their beef jerky, so hopefully they will either keep the little fella or find him a good home. These dog lovers were also kind enough to give some first aid to Billgene’s boot that was suddenly in dire need of some TLC. What would the world do without duct tape? 

Buffalo Bob was our official hike leader, but several hikers, all of the female persuasion, kept jockeying for the leadership position. Eventually Bob gave up and joined the rest of the pack! Santa also put in an appearance, but he wasn’t looking all that jolly. Bob flashed a big smile for him, but Santa looked unmoved, so there is some doubt as to Bob’s status on the naughty or nice list. Afterwards several people went to Ozark for barbecue, so it remains to be seen if they managed to soften up Santa!