Thursday, December 31, 2009

#24 Mt. Waumbek

I love how the fact that this was two days short of the official start of winter made this a fall hike. It certainly didn’t feel that way. On the drive in the car thermometer showed as low as –11 degrees. At the start it was –6 degrees, the coldest start I have had. There was plenty of snow on the ground but alas I was NOT walking in a winter wonderland.

This time dad and I were not alone. Dave was joining us for the hike. I warned him we weren’t fast hikers and today I really wasn’t. I was starting to get a cold, which caused me to drag my wagon. I also was wearing my plastic boots to get use to them and that slowed me down some. We parked right next to a gas station in an alternative parking lot. The trailhead lot was closed but this only added maybe a half-mile to our round trip. The trail was not difficult. This was good again cause I wasn’t on my A game. At the beginning of the Starr King trail the snow was fairly packed and we weren’t post holing. As we climbed though the snow started becoming more powder and less packed down by others. This caused more post holing. Dad was getting really annoyed. It didn’t bother me too much probably because I am lighter and don’t post hole as much.

When we got to the top of Starr King we took a bit of a lunch break. Dave found a nice rock to sit on and dad and I sat by the random fireplace. We decided that we were going to leave our bags here and go lighter to get to Waumbek. Dad decided to put his snowshoes on but Dave and I stayed in boots. It was a lot better having less weight on your shoulders for the hike over. There were a few little viewpoints but not too much. When we got to the top of Waumbek there wasn’t any view, urg. I plopped down and decided to do a snow angel. We took some pictures and headed back with some speed. See a blizzard was brewing down in NY/NJ and we wanted to get home before it hit CT.

Going down I was doing better. I had some energy from my food and the whole using gravity helped. I was slipping a bunch because of the plastic boot bottom but did well. I was very happy to get back to the car and sit down. Thank goodness this wasn’t a more difficult hike because my body was having a hard time. I kept telling myself “I can do all things” and I made it.

Next up, a “real” winter hike. LOL

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Carrigan #23 for number 23

This is not so much a trip report but a tribute. The Saturday before Thanksgiving during a JV football game Matty B. of Ledyard collapsed on the field of an aneurysm and was rushed to the hospital. Things took a turn for the worse on Sunday and he was transferred to CT Children’s Medical Center. There it was determined that he was brain dead. His parents decided to keep him on life support so friends and family could say their good byes. They also kept him on so that they could donate his organs. A few months before when he got his license he signed up to be an organ donor and his parents granted his wish. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving he was taken off life support and passed away. I headed up to New Hampshire with my parents and uncle right after finding out he had passed. I sat in the back with a heavy heart. Many of my soccer players were friends with him and were devastated on Sunday at a vigil. The gasps you heard when the superintendent said he wasn’t going to make it, the boys crying, it was a hard time. One girl asked me why this had a happen and she expected a response. I told her that he did not suffer and he went out doing something he loved, football. I also told her that in his dying he would save many others. His lungs were to go to a 12 year old.

So here I am going to one of the best views in New Hampshire yet we are completely engulfed in clouds. Off we went. Again I don’t remember much about the hike, I just kept thinking about Matty. His football number was 23 and this was my 23rd 4000footer. What I do remember was a nice ridge before the top, well it seemed like it would be anyway, all I saw was cloud.

The top was very windy and wet.

We stayed for a little while to have a snack and then headed down. My uncle runs marathons so he took off. Soon after I got a surge of energy and took off myself. I just got into this great rhythm and was practically running. Actually, after the last stream crossing I did run to the end. I have never felt that good after a 10mile hike. It was as if I had extra energy. I beat the book time by almost an hour and a half. My uncle had waited for my dad and they came along 20min later.

So Matty B. this hike is for you. One may die so others may live. You are a true hero.
“I can do all things”