The trail is a mix of patches of hard ice, remnants of crushable snow, and bare patches of deep mud.
Last night we had a rivulet setting up in the center of the cart path from the Lodge to the parking area. A little work with a steel garden rake, and a trenching shovel to remove the leaves and debris and the water was running back into the woods and off the cart path. It would really be great if we could get through spring flooding season without needing to have earth moving equipment to keep the cart path open!
I had been wondering about the frost in the ground, but not having a backhoe, or recently having tried to dig a posthole I had no idea. It turns out that the folks to ask are the Worcester DPW! In places with snow cover, like Hope Cemetery, the frost line is about 3' deep. In the City streets that don't have the benefit of a snow blanket to protect them from the cold, the frost line goes much deeper. Also, an interesting engineering tidbit! Part of why we get such mud is that while the top layer may unfreeze, the frost is still below, and the water can't percolate down through the ground and out of the way. Thanks DPW guys!
Ted's At Trek blog now has many photos in it and links to an album for each day. There is some great stuff in there so check it out! tedatgwlt.blogspot.com
Cascading Waters Trailhead Conditions at 7:30 a.m. (elev. 630'):
Temperature is 36.1 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 93% and steady;
Pressure is 29.56" of Hg and steady;
Wind is moving but no reading on mph;
Skies are overcast, and it is lightly raining;
Both Cascades Brook channels are swollen and flowing;
The Cascades has only cracked through in two patches, the rest is a mass of snow and ice;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!
National Weather Service Forecast:
Rain likely before 2pm, then a slight chance of rain after 5pm.
Cloudy, with a high near 44. North wind 3 to 6 mph.
Chance of precipitation is 70%.
New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
National Weather Service Advisory:
THE RAIN COMBINED WITH SIGNIFICANT SNOWMELT MAY CAUSE SOME AREA RIVER LEVELS APPROACHING BANKFULL. HOWEVER...NO RIVER FLOODING IS CURRENTLY EXPECTED. MONITOR THE LATEST FORECAST UPDATES FROM THE NORTHEAST RIVER FORECAST CENTER AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/NERFC.
THERE IS A LOW PROBABILITY FOR 1 TO 3 INCHES OF SNOWFALL ON SATURDAY...ESP ALONG THE EAST MASSACHUSETTS COASTLINE.