Well, part of the “really” long range weather forecast was right – it was “crisp”, it was “crystal clear” (at times), but at other times it snowed, it hailed and the wind blew. In spite of these minor obstacles, we had some fantastic views and fall colors. (See some photos posted and many more at the November 6 “short clips” of “Great Trips” event.)
We started from Underhill State Park and followed the CCC Road to the Maple Ridge Trail. About half way there the hail & snow started and visibility dropped noticeably. Ted (Albers) wanted to call in the Burlington Section Helicopter for a rescue, but I told him that he would have to pay for it as he could still crawl. At that point we met a hiker coming the other way looking for the Stevensville Trailhead. Rich (Larsen) informed him that it would be probably quicker to turn around and follow us to the turn off to the Frost Trail. ( He had come from Taft Lodge that morning following the Maple Ridge Trail down. Missed the turn!)
As we got out in the opening on the Maple Ridge Trail, conditions could best be described as blustery and visibility not great. A revised routing over the Rock Garden Trail to Butler Lodge looked like a better option. Rich pondered this a bit and decided to go back down for some more “Dunkin Donuts” coffee. Then we were three. The Rock Garden Trail turned out to be quite a treat of light fresh snow and clouds breaking up with splashes of fantastic colors and views.
We stayed a bit at Butler Lodge with some Bucknell University students cooking breakfast. It cleared pretty much and off we went to finish our journey via the Long Trail to the Forehead and the Chin with great views and colors all the way. We finished by going down the Sunset Ridge Trail.
Participants: Ted Albers, Miguel Bosse, Rich Larsen, and Phil Hazen.