Monday, May 8, 2006

Week in NH & ME Day 1 - Sugarloaf and Spaulding

I left my parents at 8:30 and got to Sugarloaf at 3pm.  Climbed up very steep Lift Line trail to theCimg3244
summit.  On the way up the grassy trails I saw many small snakes so I grabbed one for a picture.  They were out basking in the sun next to the melting snow.  Dropped my skis on a ski slope just before the snowfields.  Had a little trouble finding the trail from the summit towards Spaulding.   Can't believe I forgot my ipod...  As I first started to descend down the back side of Sugarloaf I heard a Cimg3253
russling in the woods next to me and noticed a grousse.  It was a silly fat looking bird that hopped along the ground and made crazy gobbly noises (yes, that's the best way I can describe it.. pretty sad right).  I was able to get pretty close to it to snap a few pictures and I wouldn't have evenCimg3258
heard it if I had my ipod on so I guess there were a few perks for leaving it behind.  The trail to Spaulding was longer than I thought and very snowy.  Passed by a plaque commemorating the linkage of the Appalachian trail.   
Can't believe I forgot my Gators...  My boots were completely soaked from the snow falling into the top of them.  It Ttok longer than I thought with a lot of post holes on the way to Spaulding sinking up to my knees.  I quickly hiked back over the top of Sugarloaf to get back to my skis I hadCimg3278
dropped.  The trail was incredibly icy.  Check out the picture on the right of what I had to balance on... The trail looked like this for miles and had a lot of blowdown from the winter across Cimg3266it I had negotiate as well.  I can't shoot a basketball for my life but thank God I have the balance of a cat when it comes to hiking or I'd have broken ankles and legs on every hike.  It was nearing sunset and the surrounding mountains looked amazing.  I could see the White Mountains in the distance and what I thought was Katahdin in Northern Maine.  Ended up skiing down at sunset at 7pm.  Made it nearly to the bottom on snow.  Drove to Stratton Motel and Cimg3281
owner Don provided me with a homemade spaghetti dinner and a 40$ room for the night.  I had talked to him a few weeks before about staying over there but the weather was bad so I didn't go.  He remembered me calling.  I had about an hour to relax before my favorite TV show came on... '24'...  It was a great first day to start the week off and so far I'd climbed all the mountains planned.


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