'Twas the Hike After Christmas
Boxford State Forest - December 26, 2003
Activity by Ken L.
Photos and trip report by Ken L. and Tom S.
||'Twas the hike after Christmas, and all through the woods
Two creatures were stirring - their jackets had hoods
worn that were chosen with care
To keep the toes warm in the cold Boxford air
And Tom all dolled up and ready to prance
Just what were you thinking when you put on those pants?
||Your Webmaster in layers, fleece band for a cap
A bold fashion statement, yet still looks like crap
|When out in the woods there was nary a patter
Your Webmaster had stopped, clearly something the matter
Away to the
north, or was that west that we dashed
When the trail disappeared, through the woods we did crash
Poor Tom, feeling peckish, gnawed a leg of turkey
And four minutes later he had gnawed through a tree!
||When, what to our wandering eyes should appear,
But a landmark familiar--we let out a cheer!
Doubting Your Webmaster who was thinking so quick
I'm sure Tom regrets being such a ... nasty person to Your
Despite getting them back from whence they came
Back lost in the woods, Tom hurled out some names:
"You moron! You idiot! You jerk and maggot!
You couldn't stop bushwhacking when I said to bag it!"
"Dunderhead! Freak! Ingrate! Sleaze!
You had to get us lost and walk through the trees!"
But now Tom spoke not a word, but went straight to work
And to the right trail, he turned with a jerk
|We sprang to our feet, and gave a quick whistle
Back to the cars, past the leaves and the thistle
||But Your Webmaster exclaimed, ere he drove out of sight,
"Despite getting lost, it was still a good hike!"
|The day's hike in the Boxford State Forest
started out like any other---safe in the parking lot. Tom S. and
Your Webmaster skidded over the slickest ice buried just under the snow
and somehow made it into the woods.
Instead of taking "the long way",
Tom wanted to follow the Bay Circuit Trail which cuts through the
Boxford State Forest. No problem. We made it all the way
from one side to the other, and we spied a continuation of the trail
across the road: the Lockwood Forest.
Lockwood Forest Map
After studying the Boxford State Forest map, your
intrepid hiking crew turned left, walked the road a bit, and entered the
BSF on a different trail.
That's when things started to go wrong, as Tom points
|Compass? We don'
need no steenkin' compass!
After finishing the Bay Circuit Trail portion of the hike, our stalwart
hikers took a slight road walk and re-entered the forest on a different
path. Within five minutes, they made a wrong turn, leaving the trail
along what appeared to be a path, emphasis on the word "appeared." After
walking 50 yards or so, our intrepid adventurers realized that they had
gone the wrong way, but it is to their everlasting credit that neither
one even thought of re-tracing those 50 yards.
No! Not them! Turn around? Ha! Figuring it would be but a simple matter
to bushwhack a few miles though alternating areas of thick snow, wet
marshland, heavy underbrush and a flooded beaver pond, our brave heroes
plodded on. Eventually, and somewhat to their surprise, they did come
across a trail. Too bad for them that they had become completely turned
around and went the wrong way on the trail.
Yes, sad to say that our dashing explorers walked back along the same
trail they had taken when they left the road. When they came upon the
place where they had erroneously left the trail, they didn't recognize
it, but after after much discussion and head shaking, decided it went in
the wrong direction and so they continued on the trail directly away
from the direction in which their cars were parked. When they came to
the very same paved road that they had left a mere hour before, they
realized that a horrible mistake had been made. Yes, sad to say, the
map-makers had screwed up drawing the map and the trail makers had
screwed up constructing the trail. Noble souls that they are, though,
our dauntless fellows held no hard feelings for the map makers and trail
makers who had caused them to become lost and simply turned around. By
happy chance, they did not re-trace their circuitous wanderings but
stumbled upon the proper path.
Bartlett Inn Weekend - November 7-9, 2003
Crawford Path - November 8, 2003
Mt. Willard - November 9, 2003
Activity by Ken L.
||Once again Get Outdoors New Englanders were treated to the
Bartlett Inn, a B&B not far
from Mt. Attitash. Nick and Miriam have taken ownership of the
Inn, and they have been hard at work making repairs and doing a bit of
The living room is still the place to gather, and
several of us popped in for a bit before heading out for dins at the
Red Parka--always quite filling!
Oh, bad news for the Bartlett Inn veterans: no
more big couch in the living room. Nick told us that the big
couch that was there had died, and they had to get a replacement, and
it was much smaller and just a regular couch, not one of those
"sectionals". We put in our vote for Nick and Miriam to bring
the big couch back!
On Saturday Your Webmaster, Sasha, Michelle, Pam, Randy, Ellen, Rachel,
and David and our four-footed friends Shadow and Nelson hiked the
||OK, so Your Webmaster had wanted to do the Davis Path,
but, ya know, he's got a mind akin to fine Swiss cheese, so we wound up
heading over by the new AMC hostel and hooking up with the Crawford
The way up to the Mizpah Hut isn't all that difficult,
so the group of us trudged along.
Pam and Randy fell behind when Randy had to grab
something from the car, and the rest of us plodded along, expecting them
to show up. David even took Shadow's leash for a while, thinking
Pam would be there to get the dog later. Despite our dawdling, we
didn't see Pam and Randy. Weird!
Michelle demonstrates a frozen Camelback
Trail conditions were pretty nasty in spots. It
had been rainy for the two weeks previous, and then the cold set in.
The trail wasn't too bad at the base, but as time went on, it became
very slick with ice.
The weather also became a bit iffy. Already fairly
cold, the wind was steady, which never helps on was was essentially a
winter hike. The group (still minus Pam and Randy) decided to take
the turn to the Mizpah Hut...
...which, of course, was closed up tighter than a drum!
We had lunch and waited for Pam and Randy to show.
The sun began to duck behind the clouds, and one could see squalls were
due. Where were Pam and Randy? Did they head to the summit?
The group decided to head back down and not go for the summit, given the
weather. We were hoping to see Pam and Randy coming up the trail, but
nope. We made it back down to the parking lot just in time for a
squall. Randy's truck was still there, and there was no sign of our
friends. We figured they had gone for the summit, not turning toward
the Hut as we had done.
It was a chore to get Shadow into a car he wasn't used to (this is a dog
who doesn't like to walk over tile floors), but we all found a spot and made
our way back to the Inn.
At the inn dinner was being prepared. Other GONewEnglanders who had
scattered for the day had been hanging about helping with dinner or just
lazing in the living room.
As time went on we started to get a bit nervous about Pam and Randy, who
had still not made it back to the inn. Randy is a veteran hiker, and
Pam has been doing her share of higher elevations, so we were concerned, but
not worried. Sure enough, just before dinner was served, they came
through the door. Pam and Randy had gone for the summit and made it.
The section of trail up there was much steeper and much more icy, so they
had a time of it. They made it back around the summit to the Mizpah
Hut and saw all of our tracks and put two and two together. So they
carefully made it the rest of the way down over the ice and were in time to
have a great repast with us.
For the second year in a row, Ern commandeered the kitchen
to produce some spectacular edibles. In the above picture Anneke (Mrs.
Ern) and Ern are serving. Note the brown crock pot. It had the
most wonderful seafood chowdah Your Webmaster has ever had---outstanding!
Ern caught me going back for seconds, but he didn't catch me going back for
As usual, Sunday came way too quickly. After the delicious
breakfast served up by Nick and a few assistants, the GONewEnglanders
scattered. I don't know where everyone went, but when we discovered
that Randy hadn't been to Mt. Willard yet, there was no question
where at least a few of us would be headed.
Your Webmaster, Jan, Pam, Randy, and Shadow
||Mt. Willard is normally an easy, relatively short hike. Again
we had cold temperatures and some wind, but the way the trail is
situated it's relatively sheltered. Once in the woods, the wind
subsides a bit.
Now if we thought the Crawford Path had a lot of ice,
the trail up Mt. Willard was completely insane!
Frozen brook---or the trail...?
Loads of ice on this one, which made things a bit hairy
especially on the way down, but we persevered.
Following our Mt. Willard hike, we spent a little time at
the new AMC Hostel getting warm by the big fireplace and checking out the
new digs. After that it was to---no surprise here---the Woodstock Inn
for some stout and dins. The weekend ended all too soon.
Thanks to Nick and Miriam of the Bartlett Inn for their
hospitality and to Ern and Anneke for a wonderful Saturday night dinner (you
spoil us, you really do!). Thanks to everyone for comin' on by, and
we'll see you again next time!