Mar-Apr 2002
Next Photo Home Up Previous

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 Dave & Kathryn prepare 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. group preDiane

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 Going Up Going Up Kathryn But as advertised, we took it slow - stopping to take pictures, arrange gear clothing change, examine fungus dave examines 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.Diane catches 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 False summit

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 View View

As we approached the top approach 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 group and tried to eat lunch ducked into the rocks. But in the end, decided to leave the peak Top Top Top Top and head back down into a more protected spot to enjoy lunch. Dave eats lunch

Throughout the day, we kept an eye out for our Webmaster's missing fleece. We thought we found the remains of it fleece 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 snowman. It was perfect snow for snowmen and snowballs -- I had to watch my back because Jen has some arm! Jen 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. Sale 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!

Ginny catches
Your Webmaster
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 foundation , 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, VT.

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 events.

Due to the positive response we will probably have another potluck dinner/stargazing event again with mild weather and hopefully clear skies.

Left:  A close look at the telescope and the moon
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 in Southie.

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. Or Whiteface.

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 Hawaii.

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!