|Mt. Monadnock - Dublin Trail - April 27, 2002
Activity and Trip Report by Dawn S.
Photos by Dawn S. and Michelle M.
|Dave, Michelle, Kathryn and I met in Woburn and drove up to Monadnock. Using the directions from the AMC guide book and some tips from our Webmaster, we were able to find the trail head which was down a muddy unmaintained road. Michelle was excited to be able to use the 4 wheel drive capabilities of her Subaru Outback as she went charging through the mud. When we got to the trail, we met up with Jen (who also had an all-wheel drive Subaru).
While we waited for Diane, we packed up our stuff
and discussed gear and some of the recent purchases folks made. After waiting the standard 15 minutes past the meeting time for Diane, we thought maybe she got turned back by the mud, and headed out.
This was the first time any of us had done this trail. The snow from a couple nights ago made everything pretty,
but also made some of the rocky sections a bit slick
But as advertised, we took it slow - stopping to take pictures, arrange gear
, examine fungus
etc. and have a little snack.... and while eating our snack, Diane popped out of the woods. She had gotten there late, but decided it was a great day for a hike and set
out to catch us.
And so we proceeded on... The AMC guide book says something about seeing a "false summit" before reaching the real summit...
so when we finally saw a peak out of the trees, we were excited but not fooled
It was such a beautiful day for a hike. The skies were blue and the snow and ice on the rocks was so pretty that I didn't even
mind that it was April and I was looking at snow. We took time to admire the views
As we approached the top
the winds were fierce and we threw on the windbreakers. Dave was still in his shorts -
we gals decided it must be a guy thing. We took the group photo
and tried to eat lunch ducked into the rocks. But in the end, decided to leave the peak
and head back down into a more protected spot to enjoy lunch.
Throughout the day, we kept an eye out for our Webmaster's missing fleece.
We thought we found the remains of it
but I am told it was the wrong color.
On the way down, we saw this little snowman that
someone had made and left on the trail, complete with carrot nose
It was perfect snow for snowmen and snowballs -- I had to watch my back because
Jen has some arm!
Once down - we decided to try to find the EMS in Peterborough to check out their Club day sale.
What we found was also a tent sale of overstocked and old rental gear.
I got a pair of snow shoes - hopefully there will be some snow next winter - and other folks
found great bargains on all things needed (and not really needed) for hiking.
By this point, I was beginning to wonder if all the women's talk of shopping and bargains, was too much for Dave. It's not always easy being the only guy in a car of women. During the drive back, he commented that we did post-shopping analysis a lot like a team does a post-game analysis (highlights, strategies, game plans for next time, etc). But he was a good sport (and for the record, he did end up with a few purchases from the big sale too!)
A trip to Pizza Hut finished off the day and we all headed home, promising to do it again soon.
|Boxford State Forest - April 20, 2002
Activity and Report by Ken L.
Back to Boxford.
Why? I keep asking myself that, too. I think it's mostly
because it's flat and easy on the feet. :-) But beyond that I
often do get a good group of people to c'mon out---including many first
timers. That makes it all worthwhile!
in the act of
setting up the
Michelle, Deb, Ginny, Joyce, Arnie, Janet, Warren,
Dawn, Your Webmaster, and Jen
Michelle, Ginny, and Joyce were our "first timers". As
you know, all are welcome, and they thought they'd take us up on it.
I'm glad they did! Arnie has hiked with us often, but this is the
first time Ginny (Mrs. Arnie) came along. Warren was with us at Lynn
Woods not too long ago. Debbie? She ran our first activity back
in '97! (And she's getting married on the 27th...Congrats, Deboooooo!!!)
Dawn is trying out a new hair style. Janet's been around quite a bit.
Yep, that's THE Jen. And, of course, Your Webmaster, whose last hike
was just far too long ago.
We arrived at the Boxford State Forest parking lot at around
10, and the weather was fairly cloudy with a little hazy sun and comfortable
cool-ish temperatures. During the day we had some sprinkles, but there
was never any steady rain.
Our first stop--as usual--is the old missile silo, now
basically a man-made pond.
We wandered on through the woods
and past some ponds.
A while into the journey we reached Bald Hill
(the photo explains the name), wandered by the old cellar hole
and then stopped for some lunch.
After lunch several people decided to take the "straight
shot" back out, but Dawn, Joyce, Michelle, and I wandered around a bit
more. Things started out great, with some nice views of some flora
(and an interesting rock)
and some spooky woods.
No towhees, but we did see some thrushes. But--as is tradition with
GONewEngland activities--we kept making wrong turns and couldn't find the
right way. We stumbled across a small area with a fireplace, though
but after that we kept going back to the beaver pond near Bald Hill.
One more try to get out, then we came across a flooded roadway
which---somehow---we crossed without drowning! Enough was enough, and
we took a roundabout way to get to the "straight shot out", and we were back
to the cars by about 3:30 or 4.
It was a good long walk, followed by some Tex-Mex (yummy)
for a few of us. Glad to see that a whole bunch of people made it by,
and I look forward to seeing y'all again soon!
(Darn---I lost the tick contest. Only one for me,
Joyce got two. Sheesh. :-) And in the flora/rock
picture, the upper left is cowslips and the upper right is bloodroot.)
|Bear Mt. Mogul Challenge - April 5, 2002
Activity by Eileen S.
Photos by Martin K.
Martin sent in a bunch of photos for the Bear Mt.
(Killington, VT) Mogul Challenge. Click to
view the Photo Album, and use the password "mogul". There
are some photos of the Mogul Challenge, and there are some pics of the
GONewEngland gang back at Eileen's place, the Limerick Lodge in Plymouth,
Potluck Dinner / Stargazing - March 23, 2002
Activity and Report by Pam F.
Photos by Linda M.
POTLUCK DINNER/STARGAZING Saturday was a
bright, sunny "spring" day but unfortunately it clouded over later.
Gary brought his BIG telescope along with step ladder. We did get to
view for a little while...Saturn was blurry but you definitely knew
what you were looking at. The telescope was very impressive: it
moved along with the earth's rotation.
We had some familiar faces and some new faces. There was a nice
selection of food to choose room and of course desserts (chocolate on
both). Shadow enjoyed himself under the kitchen table...he did come
out a little to catch bones off his nose.
Six of us stayed late to play a couple of fun games of Tri-Bond. We
want a re-match.(-: It was a very pleasant evening of food, laughter,
conversation, games, some stargazing and talk about plans for upcoming
Due to the positive response we will probably have another potluck
dinner/stargazing event again with mild weather and hopefully clear
Left: A close look at the telescope and
Right: Stargazing GONewEnglanders
|Catching up on some trip reports that
have come in to GONewEngland Central...
|Freedom Trail - March 17, 2002
Activity and Report by Barbie S.
Barbie S, Lara S, Cathy
M, Jack L Jr, Joe H and Jeff M all had a really fun sunny day doing
the entire Freedom Trail except for Charlestown. Some of the
highlights included the Civil War/Irish Famine/Holocaust memorials,
Hancock/Revere/Franklin graves, Mike's Pastry Shop, the first Italian
Catholic church statue yard in the north end, touring Paul Revere's
house, and just seeing tons and tons of stuff. Cathy (Italian) helped
with the restaurants and yankee Joe gave historical info about various
buildings and memorials. It was a relaxing fun exploration of lots of
Boston's interesting sites topped off by good food and Guinness at a
north end restaurant. Plans are afoot for Freedom Trail Part II which
will be Charlestown with a tour of Old Ironsides and a good food -
Jack is checking out the Constitution tour schedules and Cathy is
looking into restaurants. It promises to be a great sequel!
|New England Flower Show - March 16, 2002
Activity and Report by Barbie S.
We (Pam F, Diane K and
Barbie S) had a great time looking at all the great plants, vendor
exhibits, riding the T, walking into South Boston and generally
goofing off. Diane is completely enamored by primroses and we're
expecting her yard and house to be filled with them soon. Pam got a
goldfish plant and Barbie took home some sedums. It was a really
terrific day. We recommend the subs at Sal & Betty's on first street
|Mt. Tecumseh Hike - March 3, 2002
Activity by Tom S.
The Tecumseh hike didn't generate much
interest with GONewEnglanders, which is too bad, as it is an ideal
Get-Back-to-Hiking early spring hike. Four of us planned to go, then
one had to drop out. That left Janis G. and Annette S. to accompany
your humble scribe up the snow-covered path.
Yes, Virginia, there is a snow cover. Judging from the post holes
punched into the snow on the side of the trail, there was at least
three feet once on the upper slopes. It was hard-packed snow, though,
and crampons were the order of the day, not snowshoes. After a bit of
slipping and sliding, we donned our crampons about a third of a mile
into the hike. Since I had my boots off anyway, and the weather was
warmer than expected, I took the opportunity of divesting myself of my
thermals, and shucked them off after pulling off my windpants. As luck
would have it, the only people we met on the way up--a nice
middle-aged couple--came into view in the midst of my semi-nudeness. I
apologized profusely, but the woman told me not to make a fuss over
such a little thing. Wish I knew what she meant by that.
After a half mile or so, the trail steepened. We caught up to the
other couple, who were putting on snowshoes. They were standing by a
point where the Mount Tecumseh trail runs within a few feet of the
Waterville Valley Ski Area. Kids on snowboards were zipping by, having
a grand old time shooting down the very steep ski trail. (It was about
the width and steepness of the north slide of Tripyramid. I'm not sure
I'd want to put a slippery board on MY feet and let rip.)
We turned our backs on the kids and started a long slog up an
unrelenting grade for another mile or so before reaching the Sosman
Trail junction. We were a quarter mile from the top, but Tecumseh
wasn't through with us. This was the steepest part of the trail and it
was crusted ice most of the way.
Without crampons, I'd still be up there, slipping and sliding like I
was doing a Laurel & Hardy routine. With crampons, we simply walked up
the trail and reached a rather anti-climatic summit. I won't say there
weren't any views. There was. A three hundred and sixty degree
panorama of spruce trees, up close and personal. By dint of serious
contortions, we did manage a peek-a-boo view--Mount Washington and the
white-covered Presidentials showing between what looked to be Osceola
and East Osceola.
It was nippy up top, so we grabbed a quick bite and headed back down,
aided again by the crampons. All three of us used Grivel G-10
crampons. Ten-point, easily adjustable to fit any boot, and under a
hundred bucks. They worked swell. I still haven't figured out how to
pack them, though.
On the way down, we got several nice views of the northeast side of
Waterville Valley. Osceola and East Peak dominating the north. The
three peaks of Mt. Tripyramid to the east, with the north and south
slides plainly visible as white gashes on the mountain's flanks. Near
the top of Tecumseh we could see another large mountain looking over
the shoulder of South Peak. I think it might have been Passaconaway.
The trip down was without event. I managed to keep my pants on the
whole way. In all, the hike took about five hours, counting putting
the Crampons on and off, watching the snow-boarders and having lunch
at the top. Back in the purple van, we agreed that Tecumseh was indeed
a "relatively" easy hike, but a fun one, and a perfect one for getting
back into hiking after a layoff.
|KK Down Under: New Zealand - Feb-March 2002
E-Mail from Our Welcoming Committee/Motivator Kathy K.,
traveling in New Zealand
A trip report from KK, your roving
reporter in NZ:
Just wanted to say hello from the bottom of the world! Haven't fallen
off the globe yet, even though according to the globes from school, I
should be upside-down right now.
New Zealand is a wonderful place! The people are friendly and
easy-going, and the scenery is spectacular. Of special note is how
quickly the terrain and climate change as you travel from place to
place. I'm currently in the middle of South Island with a climate and
terrain similar to California's - golden hills, strong sun, cool at
night. However, the day before, we were in the rainforest on the coast
with exotic plants and palm trees and I could have sworn I was in
We did a spectacular hike the other day back into the bush in a
glacial-carved valley. The foliage was strange and exotic, with giant
fern trees that made me feel as if I were back in the dinosaur age. If
a tyrannosaurus rex suddenly appeared around the corner, it wouldn't
have surprised me in the least (although I have to say, I truly
wouldn't have enjoyed it!!!!). At other times, the landscape looked
very mystical, and I just knew there were fairies and leprechauns
about, waiting to cause mischief. No wonder they picked New Zealand in
which to film the Lord of the Rings - elves would love it here!
Tomorrow, we head out on a 5-day hut-to-hut hike in the Fiordland area
on the Milford Track, which leads from Lake Te Anau, one of the
biggest in New Zealand, out to the Milford Sound, which Rudyard
Kipling and others have said is the Eighth Natural Wonder of the World
due to its beauty. Am looking forward to the challenge and am hoping
for the best in terms of the rain - the area is notorious for
downpours but supposedly it makes the waterfalls that much more
beautiful! We'll see - could that be true or just a crafty Kiwi
marketing ploy??? I'll let you know later.
Hope everyone in GONewEngland is doing well and we'll see you after I
get back - looking forward to the end of winter hiking and some spring
skiing in March and April.
Take care and happy hiking!