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Thread: Pawtuckaway Mountains 12/8 and 12/15/07

  1. #1
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    Default Pawtuckaway Mountains 12/8 and 12/15/07



    12/8/07 and 12/15/07

    The Pawtuckaway Mountains

    11 Miles 1100' Elevation gain

    Kevin, Judy and Emma

    With the price of gas, the responsibilities of the season and the "just waiting for it to officially be winter" thing, we haven't ventured into the White Mountains for over a month. Fortunately for us, we are within twenty miles of Pawtuckaway State Park, and we go there at times like these to stretch our legs. The mountains are really mole hills, but the scenery is beautiful, varying from hardwood forest to huge white pines and towering hemlocks, from open ledges above the forest, to marshy fens under the canopy. The snow was deep, and for the most part, the trails were unbroken. On Saturday the 8th, there was fresh snow as we climbed to the tower on South Mountain. One other had been before us, but their tracks were filled in with new snow. Although the sky overhead was crystal clear and cloud-free, there was a thick haze when looking towards the horizon. My guess would be wood smoke and the lack of wind to move it out, but I'm sure there are other factors involved. We descended by the South Ridge Trail, moving north along the ridge of the "mountain". We eventually turned back to the south and returned to where there is a small parking area at the trailhead where most people climb to the tower from. Here we considered climbing back over the mountain, but opted to climb Middle Mountain instead. Again, someone had been before us, but their tracks were mostly filled in, and when we reached the ridge, disappeared altogether. Crossing over the top of the ridge, there were deer tracks all over, and we came across a deer yard where they had obviously spent the night. From the south end of the mountain we made a short bushwhack down to the road which led back to our car. While preparing to leave, two hikers which I had been on the lookout for passed our car. We had seen "Chomps" car at another trailhead. We introduced ourselves and got to meet two other VFTTers, Chomp and Skimom. Nice to meet you guys! The following weekend, on Saturday the fifteenth, we returned to do our favorite loop, travelling north over North Mountain, then down to Devil's Den and beyond to the Boulder Field. The beginning of the hike was along a snow mobile trail, and was packed, but when we reached the base of the "mountain" at the south end, we were the first to break trail, and broke trail across the entire ridge. Sweet! Coyote tracks wound back and forth across the trail for the entire length of the ridge, and Emma was on alert for the whole trip. We had a quick snack and drink on the summit, then continued along, as it was quite cold, about 10 degrees, but thankfully it was calm. Again, the sky was crystal clear, but looking towards the horizon there was thick haze. While descending past the "Devil's Den" we came across the only other hikers that we saw this day. They had broken trail in from the Boulder Field, so this part of the trail was a little easier. On this trip, we chose to follow the road back to Reservation Road and our car. We saw several deer crossing the road on our way back. At one of the marshes we could see where beavers had slid through the snow and across the ice. We are very glad to have Pawtuckaway as an alternative diversion when we can't get away to the Whites.

    Pictures here:

    http://ghostflowers.com/white_mtns30...kaway1207.html

    KDT

  2. #2
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    Wow - she is beautiful!
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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    http://public.fotki.com/MWO/saved/2012/ MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

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    For a pup with such little legs, Emma doesn't seem to let the snow slow her down.

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    Emma is a little cutie...with a lot of miles on her.
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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