I got to add 4 new miles to my North Country Quest today. I was a tiny bit concerned about doing this hike. The plan was only for four miles, but I knew that they would be in completely unbroken snow, which can be very difficult to cover, even in snowshoes. I've done more than that several times in the past, but
friend helped me put my car at one road crossing, and then drove me around to the other one, four trail miles away. Into the woods I went, following the blue blazes painted on trees. When the snow is deep you can't see the trail at all, so you must be able to see the next blaze from the one you are at, or you can lose the trail. I am happy to tell you that I did find the actual trail all the way through to my car. There were a couple of places where I couldn't see a blaze (can you find it in the top picture?), but having a fair amount of experience at guessing at trail-ish spaces helped me along until I found a blaze.
Oh, and I feel pretty good for several reasons. I have added four miles to my total, which is now 3518 miles of NCT. I had allowed four hours to cover the four miles, and actually I covered them in 2 hours and 50 minutes. I am not completely "dead"- hips are a little stiff, but otherwise all is well (and I'm safely home).
The pictures below are just a few details that I enjoyed: a strip of birch bark, flowers of the witch hazel (it blooms in the fall and the yellow-brown flowers persist all winter), and one painted blue blaze surrounded by moss on a tree. It's funny how you sometimes don't see things when you look at them. In the woods I saw a blaze with moss. At home, looking at the picture, I see an eye with a bushy white eyebrow and funny blue war paint!
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