And I just realized that I failed to share our hikes in October (Camel’s Hump & Mt. Mansfield in Vermont) and November (Mt. Madison in New Hampshire)! I will be sure to get those posted.
But for now, I am here to share our last hike of the year. And this hike was a special one because we actually stuck to our plan! Ha-ha. When I share the previous two months, you’ll understand why this is exciting.
The weekend wasn’t looking all that promising, in terms of weather, but we chalked it up to being a great practice for David’s thru-hike.
We started the hike at around the high 30s and sprinkles. We hiked up the Race Brook Falls trail, from Rt. 41 in Sheffield, MA. After 2 miles, it intersects with the Appalachian Trail
When we reached the AT, we headed South. There are some beautiful cliffs along the trail, but there were too many clouds on Saturday to get a good view.
Since we started our hike at around 12:45 and intended to do about 5 miles, we knew that we would be hiking in the dark. We eventually got our headlamps on and continued on. At one point though, I looked up and noticed there weren’t any white blazes and the trail didn’t look that well maintained. We retraced our steps back and sure enough, we took a left at a fork, when we should have kept to the right. At around 5:30, David remarked that we should have made it to the campsite by now. He checked the Gaia app (which tracks us via GPS) and sure enough, we passed it!
Luckily it wasn’t that long of a back track before we saw the sign on a tree. It was so high up though and we were concentrating our lights to the height of the blazes or our feet, to keep from slipping.
We stayed at the Laurel Ridge campsite, which has a privy, bear box and a few tent platforms. It was still raining and foggy, and getting cold, so we quickly put up our shelter. But wouldn’t you know it, David accidentally brought the single tent, instead of the double. It’s a good thing he and I are average size, so although it was a tight squeeze, we made it work. We loaded up on cold weather gear and watched an episode of The Witcher on his phone (side note: have you seen that Netflix show?? So good!)
We had a relatively fine night. It rained off an on but we were able to stay nice and toasty warm. We woke up at around 7AM to ice on the trees and the tent. The walk back was spent dodging all of the branches that had been weighted down by the ice. But by the time we reached the cliffs, we were greeted with fantastic views.
For the most part, we were able to stay warm throughout the hike, but we did have some cold fingers and toes whenever we stopped hiking. David also realized that his rain mitts wetted out much too quickly, so he’ll go back to the drawing board for that, before he leaves.
Overall, a really great hike! You always wish that you’ll get the best weather for hiking, but we wouldn’t have seen these beautiful views, or marveled at everything covered in ice.
Do you like to hike, even if the weather is less than ideal?