"Our First Snow Shoe to Beauty Ledge" (pictures)
Having snow shoe'd the weekend before up Phoebes Nable Mt. we were excited for a nice day this Sunday for another hike at MMR this time up to Beauty Ledge. After searching the stores for reasonably priced gaiters we were back at Kittery Trading Post. We were about to buy the mid-range priced ones when I spotted more on the rack furthest back out of sight. They were Yukon Charlie's brand for $20 bucks! We tried them on and were looking good! We had this happen last time we were here when I was looking for some poles. After settling for $35 dollar poles Scott spotted Yukon Charlie poles for $15 bucks! I am really liking this brand :)
So now after making several purchases all of which we got great deals on, we were equipped with fleece lined Carhartt pants (from the Village Barn in Barrington) $49, gaiters $20, new Koppen ski socks (to replace our old ones we loved) $11, poles $15 and our winter clothing and snow shoes we began with a few years back. Bring on the snow!! We arrived and drove into the parking lot. I should point out this parking area is not plowed in winter...no problem when you have a Jeep Wrangler! We got our snow shoes and back packs on and began. It's still odd to be snow shoeing here as the only chance we got was November 2011. We hadn't got any sizable amount of snow since. Snow mobiles had been down this section of Burrows Farm trail so it was packed down. We turned onto North trail which is part of the snow mobile trail in winter. The hike up to the upper landing on North trail was quite and enjoyable. The weather was perfect. Cool air, no wind and warm sunshine!
At the upper junction we now were able to go off the snow mobile trail and onto unpacked powder! It was exciting to see how Beauty Knob trail was as a snow shoe trail. We saw snow shoe tracks that were covered over from the previous couple inch storm. Odd...they came from the woods and onto the trail and out. And we didn't see the tracks on any other part of the trails. We joked that it might be a Sasquatch. We climbed the perfectly graded trail past the porcupine burrow and through the steeper pine grove reaching the Beauty Ledge trail junction. An awesome ascent trail for snow shoes!
We continued on up to the knob and down to the ledge. It felt so strange and exciting to actually be snow shoeing trails that we built. We were loving this fabulous day! The view from the ledge was beautiful as always. It was rather warm up here so we dropped our bags and hung out for a while, listening and watching the snow mobiles that were now making their way up and down the various roads visible from the ledge.
As we ate some snacks we could here some sort of howling or barking coming from the direction of Burrows Field. The sound was of two animals, I figured it was wolves or coyote's. Then thinking it might be owls. And after some time it sounded like dogs, maybe hound dogs. Scott was thinking someone was training sled dogs up on the trails, but the sound didn't really move. Not sure we just shrugged it off.
Scott had the idea of making a snow man and as he did I ventured off into the woods to search for the pieces for it's eyes, etc. It turned out pretty good for a back country snow man! After our fun the clouds began to fill in and it began getting a little cooler. We made our way down the Beauty Ledge trail passing it's now, snow covered features like Turtle Rock. Back down we stopped at the trail head and listened to snow mobiles approaching. We waited off to the side as they passed by. Then we made the trek down back to the parking lot.
It was here we learned what the noise was we had heard on the ledge. The Coyote Creek truck was there (from Rochester) and a trailer and writing that said something to the effect of rabbit hunting/dogs. Hmmm, that might also explain the odd snow shoe tracks coming from the woods, might have been a rabbit hunter.
Awesome day! Hoping to get another big storm and have a group snow shoe up here. Hoping to see some other's enjoying this wonderful place!