Entries to Win Afghan

Sign up to receive the Books Leaving Footprints Newsletter. Comes out occasionally. No spam. No list swapping. Just email me! jhyshark@gmail.com Previous gifts include a short story, a poem, and coupons. Add your name, and don't miss out!

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Spirit of the Woods at Big M 2024

  The Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the NCTA has a chili feed and hike at Big M almost every year. As unlikely as it seems, 2017 may be the last time I was there. I was doing a book event a couple of years on that weekend, I was in NY in 2018, then there was Covid, then I was hiking. Not sure what happened last year. I may have still been in hiding.

We had a serious size group- 30 people! Three dogs and a ferret too.
group of hikers

The group quickly spreads out on the trail. We've been doing out-and-back hikes for several years, so people just go at their own pace and turn around when they are "half tired."

Nine of us decided to take the short bushwhack over to the Udell Fire Tower.
Udell Fire Tower

The definining feature of the Udell Hills is... hills. There is a nice amount of topography to keep you entertained and working a little harder. The nine of us left from the fire tower on a different trail and took Big M trails (Barber Chair and Sky Pilot) to loop back to the NCT. Most of the snow was gone, but there was enough here to nicely define the trail.
trail in snow

The anticipated portion of the event was the return to the Big M warming shelter.
Big M shelter

There was chili provided by the chapter, and pot luck items to round out the meal. Serious eating ensued.
people in a rustic building

One of the nicest things about the shelter is the wood stove. It not only gives a cozy feel to the room, but can be used to heat the chili!
blazing wood stove

The chapter honor award this year went to Monica. She has been organizing the hikes and serving as sweep at many of them. That means she makes sure we get the same number of people back as the number that started!
person with award plaque

Those of us who did the loop did a total of 5.9 miles, with 4.2 being on the NCT for Hike 100.

Total miles hiked in 2024: 97.5 of which 17.2 is North Country Trail.

North Country Trail from Madison Rd to Udell Fire Tower turnoff, Big M Barber Chair and Skypilot Trails. 5.9 miles total

See SPW Chili Feed 2017


Ann said...

Sounds like a nice time. I had to laugh at the turn around when you're half tired.

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- we always have a great time at these events.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "It sounds like fun! The more dogs, the better!"
Java Bean: "Ayyy, we are not sure what a ferret is, though. Is it like a cat?"
Chaplin: "There's nothing like a cat besides a cat."

Sharkbytes said...

Java- I think a ferret is a lot like a cat crossed with a snake. But they are friendly. This one's name is Eamon.