Went hiking Sunday with a group of 40-50 folks to an area about 100 km northwest of Ankara. My hiking boots were newly waterproofed and I wore plenty of layers–long-sleeved shirt with wicking properties, sweatshirt, ski jacket, and a medium weight Helly Hansen jacket over the top of it all. The hike began with overcast skies and a biting wind but as we climbed in elevation, the trees provided protection from the wind. We stopped for lunch three hours into the hike, sitting on rocks peeking through snow that was in some places nearly calf-deep. The hike back to the bus took only an hour and we seemed to be bush whacking most of the way–thank goodness for GPS. A bonfire was lit for warmth and a large quantity of sausage slices were cooked in a pan over a smaller fire. When heaped on a long roll and served with hot tea, those sausages made us a happy group. Or maybe it was the box of red wine that made everyone smile. An hour visit to the town, best known for being Turkey’s top producer of carrots, followed and then we were back on the road to Ankara. It was about 24 hours after our return when my sore back and shoulders finally loosened up. My body apparently can’t take as many hours of looking at the ground to watch for the best footing as it used to. But it was a good day out in the woods.