First off, let me honestly thank everyone for not coming along to my open call of this trip. It’s likely I would have felt differently with some company, but just in case, no one should see me this miserable. I will do something unthinkable and try to focus on the positives here. This may explain the uncharacteristic shortness of this TR.
The plan was to do a Randolph, n. peak and Crescent loop with a stop at Lookout Ledge. I started out on the Pasture Path, which quickly went from bare ground to foot deep snow. I slapped on the snowshoes after getting sick of postholing in the soft, slushy muck. Of course, right after that, it was back to bare ground, so off came the shoes. Just before the Ledge Trail, it was back to soft snow, and figuring with the higher elevation this wouldn’t quit, out came the shoes again. In true Salty fashion, the snow disappeared within a couple of minutes, again.
The trail up to Lookout Ledge from this point was small spots of ice, easily barebootable with care. The views from the ledge are spectacular, especially into King Ravine, which is staring you right in the face. I was feeling mentally not there on this hike (physically, absolutely fine), but onward I went, cruising along the flats. The trail was heading slightly downhill, but as this continued, I started wondering what was up. It was the turn directly towards Adams that made me finally stop. A check of the map, a look at the compass direction of the trail, and I had realized I had veered off the Crescent Ridge Trail right onto the Vyron D. Lowe Trail, heading back to Rt. 2. Argh. Went about 0.4 miles back to the junction, and amazed myself at the big sign that was right in front of my face that I somehow missed. Well, folks, I can attest that the Vyron D. Lowe trail in its upper stretches is a beautiful area with gorgeous open woods.
I thought about what to do with the frustration building. The wrong turn added to a general feeling of blah. Well, head up to the Four Soldiers Path and take it from there. Once I got there, I couldn’t psyche myself up for the remainder of the trip and bailed (this I do well!). Might as well take the Four Soldiers Path down. Deep snow set in quickly (it is in a ravine afterall…. duh….), and back came the shoes. Well, these didn’t help too much, as I was sliding and sinking all over the place. The snow was deep, but it was all soft, and there was no hint of a monorail on this trail. After 0.2 miles and 200 vertical feet, I gave up on this trail too, and grumpily made the uphill track back to the junction.
Here I met a man and his dog (same breed as Terra), dressed quite leisurely, leisurely ambling along with a tiny little backpack compared to my 35 pounds of gear on my back. He leisurely explained he was just out for a leisurely walk wherever his desire took him. This man’s out for a walk in his (proverbial if not literal) backyard having a nice time on a beautiful day, and here I am peakbagging with a ton of gear having a miserable time. I’m taking things way too seriously.
The trip down was quick and uneventful. I now know why a number of hikers hate April with a passion. See you all in May!