This week in the Shire 2/28/15

With winter quickly coming to a close the weekend started out with uncertainty. Pulling together a top notch breaking crew for owl’s head we found a well broken trail nearly all the way to the summit. Our second day hike ended up being very similar with well traveled paths over two more 4000 footers. It was quick moving snowshoeing kind of weekend in the Shire…

Saturday
Owl’s Head
7:00 – 3:00
Lincoln woods, Black Pond, Lincoln Springs, Brutus (Out&Back)
16.3 miles

Asking around the hiking groups and looking at reports seemed to show a long day for Owl’s head. The last report was from the 7th of Feuary. Lucy and I had 9 Peaks remaining on our list and Owl’s head was the elephant in the room. It was time. Asking around we found a great group of hikers to help with breaking the trail. After work on Friday we drove up and slept in the area. We woke up on Saturday and were just about ready. After a coffee and a breakfast sandwich I was feeling up to the task. Lucy would not eat so I gave her some of my bacon. She loved it. I our team was 8 strong including Lucy. We set out shortly after 7. It was a really cold start. I was happy to get moving on the trail.

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Once we got to the Black pond junction we all switched to snowshoes. We wild wear them till we got back to Lincoln woods. It was a long but uneventful hike into Owl’s head on a bluebird day. Kind of a bad day to do this hike but it had to be done…
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Past the pond the trail was still well broken as was the case clear up the mountain till about a half mile from the summit.
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We finished the hike with Ed Smith who had just finished gridding out his Febuary with this hike Congratulations!

The hike out went very smooth and we finished in good time. 8 hours with stops. There is a track of this hike here

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After the hike our crew went to Black Mountain Burger and had some dinner. Our friends at the Notch Hostel were having a get together. We stayed for a little bit but decided that it would be better for us in the long run if we slept at the trailhead. So off to Ferncroft we drove.

Sunday
Whiteface, Passaconaway
7:00 – 1:00
Blueberry Ledge, Rollins Path, Dicey’s Mill
11.3 miles

I was so tired when we reached Ferncroft. I fell right asleep. It was another cold night. When I woke up most of my water had frozen. I had to heat it up in the car before the hike. There was a wonderful sunrise though.
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We had an all star crew again today with Andrew and Jason with the addition of Mark and Tim. Tim brought his dog Gryffin too who we all shared in his 48 finish back in January. Gryffin is a great teacher for young Lucy so I was very happy to have him along.

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Once we got on the trail I let Lucy off her leash and away she flew. Though I was nervous I knew it was only my caring instinct and not that I though Lucy was a risk. Together her and Gryffin ran back and forth on the trail. Lucy had never seemed so happy. My heart was a glow. These are the times I love so dearly in my life. We climbed up a perfectly packed Blueberry ledge trail to the ledges of Whiteface.
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Andrew taking a load off.

Lucy would double back when she knew she was out of my range. I was very impressed with her. I feel like she has made huge improvements since we started our journey at winters start. We reached the summit of Whiteface and had a quick bite to eat before hitting the Rollins Path to Passaconaway.
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On the way up the mountain Jason was talking about how he was tired. He had not been home in over a week and had climbed around 30 4000 footers across the north east.
“Good to see you are human!”
I said taking a picture as proof.
Once we got to Passaconaway we had lunch and took some pictures. It was a great summit. Gryffin may or may not have ate some of my sandwich but it was a great trade off for keeping an eye on Lucy all day.

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After our time on the summit we made great time down a well packed Dicey’s Mill. The hike down is fantastic due to the massive trees that are found in the old growth forrest of the research bowl. image

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We finished the hike around 1. Lucy went all day without her lead. We wished everyone a hearty goodbye and a safe ride home while I made coffee and had a cup of soup. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.
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With this hike Lucy and I reach 42 on our single season. With 2 more weekends to go it seems that we will be on point to finish of Carrigain in 2 weeks. For the year we are up to 34 4000 footers. So far a great year in the Shire!

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