The Baldfaces – Evans Notch, NH

Who slept like proverbial rocks on Saturday night? We did!

4:15 a.m. came much too early on Easter morning, but the mountains wait for no man. Oh wait. Yes, they do wait! So I pushed the snooze button once. HA HA

We were on the road by 5:15 a.m. We were at the trail head on Route 113 by 7:05 a.m. We were finally going to hike the Baldfaces!

img_2255
img_2252
The Baldfaces (South and North) have been on our hiking “to do” list since we discovered Evans Notch last summer. The loop we planned to follow was about 9.5 miles long. Basically, it would be another 10-mile day. This one, however, would be much more challenging. The Baldfaces top off at just around 3600′ in elevation, with South Baldface being just a bit lower.
img_2256
The trail was slippery with ice and snow. We stopped at this comfy looking log to put on our crampons. Earl asked if I wanted the high or low log. I chose the high log. He also chose the high log.

Any guesses as to what happened when we both sat on the log? Yup! It was like being in grade school and playing on the teeter-totter. Earl went tumbling backward, his legs flying up into the air. It took us a minute to even realize what had happened. HA HA
Our next stop, at about 0.7 miles up the trail was the Emerald Pool. What a wonder to discover this out in the middle of the snowy woods!
5151744_orig
The Emerald Pool
4006130_orig
Earl checking out the stream that feeds into the Emerald Pool.

The weather forecast for the day was sunny with temps in the low 50s. The day started out cloudy, but we were hopeful that the sun would burn off the clouds. We had been hiking for about an hour or so when it started snowing.
Sigh… so much for sunshine.Although I didn’t say anything to Earl, the questions running thru my mind were, “Do we need to set a turn around time?” or “Is this a good day to do this hike?”Instead I remained quiet and kept putting one foot in front of the other up the trail.

At one point Earl said, “Hey, look up.”

I looked up. I didn’t see anything but snowy trails and winter woods.

Earl said, “Turn around and look up.”

I turned every which way and looked up. I saw nothing. After two or three turns on the trail, I was more than a bit cranky about the whole thing. Finally I snapped, “Obviously I’m NOT seeing what you want me to see, so just tell me!”

He laughed and pointed to the sky. The sun was starting to break thru the clouds.

Unfortunately, I was too mad to enjoy the promise of sunshine. Silly me!

We eventually broke thru the clouds and saw where we were heading…

1852788_orig
 
South Baldface – where we were heading. It seemed sooooo far away!
6355418_orig
 An ocean of clouds to the east.
5391840_orig
It was weirdly beautiful to see just the tips of the mountains peeking thru the clouds.
20160327_130323
Taking a break on the summit of South Baldface.

Although the view to the west was breath taking, we took our break facing the east. The wind was a bit too brisk to be comfortable. While we ate our lunch, we watched the Maine clouds start to invade New Hampshire.
We encountered only two men on the trail all day. The first was as we were climbing up South Baldface. The second was as we were crossing between South Baldface and North Baldface. We stopped to chat for a few minutes. He warned us of a few slippery spots we’d encounter on the way down.Talk about understatement!We butt slid down several sections of trail and bushwacked our way around even more ice flows that looked like bone breakers.

7595914_orig
We had to butt slide our way down parts of the mountain. Scary fun!
20160327_145055
 Okay, geologist friends… what made this pattern in the rock?
6233106_orig
 One can never take too many pictures of rocky streams.

Our hiking day started at 7:05 a.m. We got back to the car at 5:20 p.m. We’d been on the trail for more than 10 hours.
We started the day in clouds and snow flurries and ended the day in clouds and snow flurries. The in-between hours were filled with sunshine and warmth.We were exhausted. We stopped at the Stow Corner Store, in Stow, Maine hoping to have our traditional after-hike ice cream. As we approached the store, though, we saw that it was dark.We were disappointed. Earl parked and told me to go see if it was open. No, he wasn’t being bossy, his legs just weren’t working properly. HA HA  As I got out of the car, a woman opened the door and asked if she could help us. I said we were hoping to buy some ice cream. She invited us in, saying that she’d closed up a few minutes early, but that she would be happy to get us our ice cream.

And that is how you end a day on the mountains!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *