Originally, Dana was to lead this outing but his back has been continuing to give him fits. He shouted out to Dave and me on Wednesday evening, asking if we could lead/ co-lead….sure! Dana met us at the Richmond Park and Ride with list of signees in hand, mostly from Meet-Up. About half the group showed by 8:30 am and off we went in 2 cars to Huntington. Surprisingly, it was very quiet at the parking lot, maybe 4 or 5 other vehicles.

We took off about 9:20 am from the Forest City trail head. Light snow had fallen overnight, so we were wading through about 2-3″ of the light fluffy stuff. Gathering at the Montclair Glen junction around 10:30 for a quick snack, the Dean trail was next on our agenda. I had never been on this trail before (not sure why….) but what a lovely mix of beaver pond, woods, open areas. One of those open areas caused us to lose the blue blazes. At this point, enough post-holing had taken place, we were now all outfitted with snowshoes. Corinn found a blaze, we’re back on track. A bridge crossing near the Hump Brook tent site had us all testing our balance abilities. Andy won the prize for crossing the “knife edge”, see photo!

We then hit the junction of Monroe around 11:30. I should mention the wind had been howling quite a bit since we started our day but quieted down and the sun appeared as well as blue sky. The clearing was next with both the wooden signs buried; one we could see the top cross post, the other was MIA. We summited around 1 PM where we met clear skies and wind. Quick photo by someone who was just behind us and then back to the clearing for lunch. Down Burrows and back at the cars at 2:45 pm. Surprisingly, we met very few people all day, I am going to say between 15 and 18. End of season? St. Pat’s? We’re unsure why so quiet , but repeatedly, I heard from our group, “What a day!” or “It doesn’t get any better than this!” or “I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.”

Co-Trip Leaders: Dave Hathaway (photos) and Robynn Albert (report).

Trip Participants: Brian Verville, Corinn Julow, Andy Julow, Nick Krembs.