Beauty found within the Wilderness, the Boulders & the Bugs: Hitch 2 Report

White Mountain TrACS
Hitch 2 Report
Androscoggin District – Glen Boulder Trail, Wamsutta Trail, Rattle River Trail, Shelburne Trail
6/18/2012 – 6/21/2012
Total miles TrAC-ed: 9.1
Total miles hiked: 21.4
Total service hours: 124.5
Prepared by Alice P. Webber

Monday, June 18, 2012:

A few days of rest and sunshine were all the team needed to jump into Hitch 2 to complete Glen Boulder Trail. The beautiful morning put the team above the clouds, and the stunning views fueled the quick climb past the previously TrACed section. Beginning where they ended last week, the team geared up and worked at an efficient pace. They completed the final 1.6 miles of the trail with majority of the features being rock cairns with a few drainage structures here and there. A total of 1.6 miles TrACed and 6.4 miles hiked. Back at base camp, the team spent the remaining half hour of the day reviewing, correcting and totaling data.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012:

Day 2 of Hitch 2. Back up the Auto Rd. The team spent the first few minutes of the day preparing the paper work for their next trail, Wamsutta Trail, and checking in with agency contact, Jake. With yet another good weather forecast in their future, the team headed 6 miles to access Wamsutta Trail. To reach the beginning termini, JCT with Great Gulf Trail, the team descended a fast 2,200ft in elevation in 1.7 miles. It was a benefit to hike the length of the trail before TrACing it, to see what was in store: steep rocks, steep rocks, and a few more steep rocks. This was the first TC-2 trail in a wilderness area that the team has worked, and so it was a learning curve to adjust what features to both record and implement to the future plans on the trail. With much more lenient standards of conditions in the wilderness area, the team completed TrACing the 1.7 miles with time at the end of the day to review the data and prepare for the following day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012:

Today marked the first time team Moose TrACS dug deep within themselves to find the strength needed to pull off a very long day. They decided to begin Rattle River Trail (running along a section of the Appalachian Trail), in spite of the countless warnings of the leagues of mosquitoes destined to be encountered. The first quarter mile surprised the team as it was a shallow grade on soft organic material in very good condition, and was a welcomed change for their knees. Before they knew it, they had TrACed 3 miles by second lunch! The trail saw many drainage structures along the way, as well as the USFS Trail maintenance team, and continued along a sustainable grade, averaging 10%, the entire 3 miles. They continued TrACing another mile in the final 2 hours of their sevice day. The team decided that with only .5 miles left of the trail, it would be a much more efficient use of their time to put in a longer day to complete the trail than to do the entire hike again the next day. All hands on deck and the Moose TrACS team carried on and finished the final .5 miles of steep, rocky terrain in just over one hour. The team completed TrACing the 4.3 miles of Rattle River Trail, hiking 8.6 miles to do so, and putting in a combined extra 4.5 hours of service.

Thursday, June 21, 2012:

One word to describe today: hot. The heat and humidity engulfed the White Mountains today, making working conditions less than desirable. Luckily the team’s morning was spent reviewing, organizing and inputting the data from all of Rattle River, followed by working on getting their website up and running. Agency contact Jake Lubera discussed with the team the day’s hazards that come with the heat before heading them into the field. They headed to begin Shelburne Trail with water pump in hand. The trail began along an old logging road which made for good trail conditions, but high exposure to the sun. Setting a safe pace for themselves, the team still managed to TrAC 1.5 miles on Shelburne, hiking 3 miles to do so. At the end of the work day, the team had their Hitch 2 debrief/ Hitch 3 preparation meeting. When all was said and done, a quick trip to the swimming hole was definitely in order.