It's been something like five days since we got a measurable amount of snow here in Madison so, to make up for the unseemly pause, Mother Nature scheduled another five-seven inches for tonight after she coats everything with sleet and freezing rain this afternoon.

We had a nice weekend with relatively pleasant temperatures in the low thirties, sunshine, and gentle breezes. We took advantage of the nice weather to get out and about both days. Saturday, we took the dog and went in search of a geocache that had eluded us several times previously. This time we were not to be denied. We wore our snowshoes and by the time all was said and done we had used just about every technical aspect of them. We waded through deep snow up to our waists; we hiked up steep snowy and icy hillsides; we tramped across frozen streams; clawed a path through innumerable tightly woven patches of thorny raspberry canes; carefully crossed barb-wire fences; wove through forests; and slogged across frozen marshes. In the end, we found the cache in a pleasant and previously unknown (to us) area. Dalla was with us throughout, though she tired at the end and was forced to follow in my steps as I broke the trail through the deep snow. I'm glad we found that geocache as getting there and back was easily the most physically challenging trek we've encountered while caching.

Fortunately we had dinner reservations at Lombardinos a local Italian restaurant for that evening. We shared dinner with Amy and her current beau and all had a pleasant time. I was starving after our caching experience and ordered a pasta dish with a heavy cream sauce and sausage mixed in. It tasted great.

Sunday we out hiking again, but without the snow shoes this time. We were only out for about an hour but the dog enjoyed running and playing in the snow. We did our hiking on the Ice Age Trail segment that we steward. We started taking note of branches that we'll need to cut in the near future and other items that could be changed. When we got home we spent some time breaking up all the ice on the sidewalk and shoveling the ice chunks on to the lawn. We try to keep the sidewalk passable for all the pedestrians who walk by our house while traveling to and from bus stops, schools, and the mall. There wasn't much point to working on the driveway ice because we knew that sleet and freezing rain, along with more snow, were on the menu for today.

For those who are interested in seeing what our house looks like with all the snow, I put a few photos of our house and yard in the photo gallery.