I lead a group hike with Hike it Baby Monadnock on Monday February 1, the day before I hiked out to Lonesome Lake in Franconia Notch. I was Sore after this!
I always tend to err on the side of caution when recommending gear and skill level required for hikes. I had been asked in the Facebook Group how necessary traction aids would be for this hike. I strongly stressed that I felt they would be a very good idea. I actually felt bad with how direct I was saying that if you don’t have spikes of some sort its best you sit the hike out. I worried that Temple might turn out to be much like the snowshoe hike I set up a couple weeks ago…the gear would be unnecessary and my members would look at me like I am an over bearing leader.
Getting to the parking lot I was greeted by a huge skating rink. On go the Microspikes. As members arrived I was greeted by a new face. HOORAY for new hikers! We did our welcome circle and set off up the access road. Icy was an understatement. The entire road was sheets of ice and often we had to walk along the edge in the bushes to gain enough traction even with spikes. As soon as we reached the top and started out in the woods the snow cleared up and we were hiking mostly on clear trail, there were still a few sections of ice and snow. I remember turning back to do a head count and make sure we were all keeping together and I was startled because my head count was off, We picked up another hiker! A dad and his son who had mistakenly gone to the Pack Monadnock lot across the street, came over and caught up with us. HOORAY again for new hikers, double Hooray for a dad!
We reached our destination of the rock living road and the wind kicked up dramatically. We only were able to stay a short time before we needed to seek shelter back in the woods. Some of the kids had gotten a bit chilled in our brief stop but that’s where the loving aspect of Hike it Baby came into play. We all took turns trying our best to cheer up who ever was sad and upset, I feel that when I am leading a hike, that all the kids are everyone’s kids and that we all band together to do whatever is needed for any child regardless if they are in fact your child.
It was a tough hike for the group but it was also a very fun hike because once you accomplish a challenge with a group you become that much stronger and that much more attached to the group. To all that attended that hike I again say WAY TO GO!