Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Trip Report: Sandwich Dome, December 12, 2011

Drakes Brook Trail, Sandwich Mountain Trail. 8.6 roundtrip miles.

Sandwich Dome -- our last "small" mountain until late March 2012; Alex and I will soon resume our winter 4K quest. Next week, she and I (and Sage, if she says she wants to), will hike a 5000 ft Trailwrights peak in an effort to ready ourselves for the fast approaching winter hiking season. Therefore, with Sandwich Dome, we bid a temporary farewell to mountains of short stature.

Not that Sandwich Dome is really all that short; at 3980 feet, it's almost a Four Thousand Footer. Still, Drakes Brook Trail is flat with only a few moderate pitches, which makes for a fairly easy hike.

The morning was bright and sunny, but the air was cold! We speedwalked the 0.4 miles to the intersection with the cross-country ski trails.

From here, it was an easy to moderate 2.8 mile walk to the intersection with Sandwich Mountain Trail.  But first....the water crossing!

The crossing doesn't look all that bad in the picture.  And, truth be told, it wasn't...except for one small bit that was fairly deep and not at all convenient.  Sage, Max and I made it across without much trouble, but Alex slipped on a bit of ice and dunked her entire boot into the freezing cold water.

The next few tenths of a mile were spent experimenting with different ways to keep Alex's left foot warm and dry.  What worked best was removing the soaking wet liner from her Sorels, wrapping her bare foot in a hiking towel and plastic bag, then sticking her towel-bag-foot back into the linerless boot. 

Alex comfortably hiked all day like this; I'll have to remember this tactic if/when we're ever again confronted with an episode of accidental dunking.

Up we went, along the (barely) snow-covered trails.

Some cool-looking icicles...

Up, up, up...

We took a quick break at the intersection with Sandwich Mountain Trail...

...before hiking another 1.3 miles to the summit.

Views from the top...

We tried to get Max to pose on the summit, but he did his usual thing...

It was cold up there (!), so we didn't stay long.  A few bites of chocolate and down we went.  We returned to the trailhead without much ado; thankfully, no one fell in the water on the way back.

Before getting into the car, the girls burst into a manic moment of goofiness.

'Twas, as always, a good walk in the woods.  Have to say, though, the lack of snow is remarkable.  It's mid-December, but the trails seem to think it's late October.  Wonder if the precip will ever come down.


Anonymous said...

Did her boot go all the way underwater? Or are kids sorels not very waterproof?

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Kids Sorels are wonderful and extremely waterproof -- her foot went all the way down into the water, so that the stream spilled into her boot from overtop her ankle.