Took the Winter bike out to Bedford and back on the Minuteman this morning, 20 miles.
The temperatures were in the high 30s when I started and had hit the mid-40s by the end. Winter was on the ground and Spring was irrepressibly in the air. This big willow typified that, with snow on its arched trunk and delicate yellow-green tendrils getting a running start on sending out leaves and catkins.
Plenty of snow was deposited yesterday, though, some of it sitting on a bench with a nice view of Peepers Pond.
Kids were making the most of the snow, on the big coasting hill at Tower Park. Near Woburn Street, some kids improvised a tidy little sled run on a slope next to the Minuteman, whizzing across the trail at the bottom and using the snowbank opposite as a bumper.
A few Canada geese made the best of things in Kiln Brook, at Tophet Swamp.
Conditions on the Minuteman were surprisingly good: anything that actually got plowed--and most things did, in Arlington, Lexington, or Bedford--was bare pavement, wet or dry, by mid-morning, with only a few soft strips of slush here and there. However, a few spots unaccountably didn't get plowed: parts of the Trail between Water Street and Mill Street (Russel Place makes a good detour for that) along with the customary Depot Park Glacier on the sidewalk where the Minuteman ends (the parking lot is clear). These were a mess, and made me glad I'd brought the bike with treads and studs.
The piney section of the Trail between Hartwell Ave. and Westview Street had a slush field comprised of snow dropping from the pine boughs.
The thaw is proceeding rapidly, and all this will look different tomorrow.
Did a little poking around beyond Depot Park, and noticed that at least the first, paved section of the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail has been plowed, and that the old railroad building that houses the Bikeway Source is undergoing serious renovation. The store's open, though.