I had 5 hikers originally scheduled to hike today but with frigid temperatures only in the single digits and winds howling, all canceled the day before except for one brave hiker from the Quechee area who was as determined as I to hike. His name is Nick and he has a passion for hiking up to as many fire towers as he can. This particular one was on his list. We met at 9 a.m. at the Montpelier High School with winds blowing. We looked at each other and said, “Let’s see what we can conquer for the day.” Off to Elmore we headed.

We had succeeded most of the way, at least up to the old ranger station and then from there on, the footprints in the snow disappeared and for good reason. As we approached the tower area, we came upon quite an icy section in which we attempted but decides it wasn’t worth our lives so we bushwhacked up and around many boulders. I said to Nick, “I am pretty sure if we keep going up and to the right we should fall into the loop path soon enough. ”

After traversing up and over boulders and following bunny trails through small openings in the woods, we finally met up with the loop trail and was able to traverse to the fire tower which Nick, not myself, climbed happily to the top. Capturing yet another fire tower in his many hikes. All the while as I watched, the wind whipped through.

We decided we had enough of an adventure on the way up maneuvering through the woods so we decided to follow the loop trail down to the base. As we approached the base, I caught eye to a nature trail sign and asked Nick if he would like to take a side trip and his reply was something like, “I think I am all set and would like to get to the parking lot”. One brave soul bound to tackle another tower and that he did. To be honest, it never really did feel like single digits hiking in the woods and what a wonderful adventurous day it was! So glad I had one brave soul to share such a grand hike with.

Participants: Nick, Kim Farone (leader).