Monday, January 31, 2011

Haystack Road 1/29/11

"Snorting Snow Flakes!" (pictures)

What a great end to January! We finally hooked up with a couple we had met nearly a year ago on a Hike
-NH group hike. Scott and I met Laurie, Russ and Marcus in Twin Mountain. The plan was to park on the Haystack road and make a walk to the North Twin Trail head and then take the Fire Warden's trail to the summit of Mt. Hale. I had no knowledge of this route or of this mountain even. So I really had no idea what exactly we were doing. As we drove from Farmington the weather wasn't looking too promising with thick clouds and snow flurries. We passed Chocorua Lake where they were setting up for a dog sledding race. We met at a plowed parking lot a few hundred feet from the Haystack road as it was not plowed at all. We made our greetings, discussed the plan, geared up and headed out around 9:00am!

We carried our Snow shoes down the busy road, fearing for our lives as cars closely wizzed by us! We made it to the road, Laurie climbed over the snow bank and trudged through waste high snow until she got up to more solid footing. We all watched humorously as we put our snow shoes on, on solid tar! We then began our journey down the unknown! The trail was nicely packed and was apparently well traveled. We didn't talk much. Scott and I were new to wearing snow shoes, as was Marcus. So it took some getting used to. Laurie led the way and we exchanged picture taking now and then. Although it was lightly snowing the sun was peaking out and blue sky opened up to the North of us. Temps were right at 30 and we quickly got warm and layered down. The road walk went a ways until we reached a snow mobile path. The path merged with the road and we followed this uncomfortable hard packed trail for what seemed like miles!

Once back off the snow mobile trail and onto soft snow we began to tire. Scott was falling back, my thighs were getting sore, and Marcus was making the occasional tumble. Laurie guided us up finally reaching the trail head 2.5 miles from our starting point. It was just after 10:30 and I remember thinking, "holy crap! We've been at it for an hour and a half and haven't even begun the actual climb yet!!" We took a snack break and small talked about how we were all getting tired already. We continued on though. We came upon a man descending who was happy to explain the route we would be taking.

We arrived at the said river crossing and shortly there after Laurie asked the magic question, "How is everyone doing?" I could tell Scott had enough. I was feeling sore but I always push myself more than I sometimes should, and wanted to continue on a little more. The others basically gave the same look as me, had enough but not wanting to be the party poopers! Scott finally said, "well I'll be the quitter and say let's turn back!" We all chuckled and agreed. That turned out to be a good decision! We slowly made our way back and the atmosphere lightened without the pressure of getting to the top of a mountain. We began talking and joking and having a good old time!

It was a long haul outta there! Marcus was taking a tumble now and then. Scott and I took off our snow shoes hoping for an easier walk down the ski Mobile trail only to put them back on again. Traffic was at it's peak now and we were stopping every 5 minutes to let snow mobilers pass. And boy did they smell! Not a pleasant thing to deal with when your hiking! I will say they were shockingly polite, slowing down and signaling to the others behind them to do the same. The snow picked up now as did the cloud cover and temps dropped a couple degrees. I was very glad now that we turned back. Towards the end Laurie said, "sheesh, I keep snorting these snow flakes!" She is too funny! I am still laughing about that one! We took a group photo at the road gate and arrived back to the parking lot at 1pm.

We didn't hike a mountain but certainly had a good work out and really got to know each other. It was a good run for being newbies to snow shoeing.  Can't wait to hike with them again! Trip was almost 6 miles, 4 hours. I made a quick stop on the way home at the Crawford Depot to take some pics of Elephant's head too!

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't have told this story ANY better!!! We had such a great time!! Scott really kept me in stitches!! You did however, forget to mention the famous Tornado Balls that you so graciously shared! They really gave us the energy we needed! Can't wait for our next adventure!