New Years 2000 was a little different than other New Years. For one thing, we couldn't get a cabin reservation, and instead planned to celebrate at friends' house in Vermont so everyone could attend. Second, there seemed to be a bit more hype this year, I wonder why? After all, it won't be a new millenium until next year.
Since we were headed over from Vermont, and would probably start fairly late, we chose to go with a trip up the Carriage Road. We didn't get to the trailhead until about 10:00, and it was fairly cold, but the weather forecast was good and the gang headed out, accompanied by Jobildunc the wonder hound. The trail up is fairly uneventful, heading up the steady climb of the Carriage Road. By the time we reached the first view it was getting close to lunch time. We paused for a photo on the snowmobile trap, which caused a problem because when Brenda jumped off she landed on a rock covered by snow and twisted her ankle.
A little further on we hit the junction with the Glencliff trail, and soon after that ran into Jack Noon, Bob Averill and some others, who had just conducted the first mid-winter mountain top book signing of the new year. Jack's book, Up Moosilauke is available at Moose Country Press. We each got a signed copy, probably because Jack didn't want to haul them down. From there it is a straight shot to the summit, over open terrain with wonderful views and a great sky. By they time we all made it to the top it was after 2:00 and cooling off rapidly. We didn't linger for long, and soon headed back down.
After pausing on the ridge for food and rest, the return trip was slow and steady. The sun was rapidly sinking in the west, since we were only a few days past the winter solstice. I stopped in at the wreckage of the old Wadchu shelter, still barely holding on. It was the shelter atop the old Hell's Highway ski trail on Moosilauke from the 1930's. The last mile or so we were hiking in the dark by headlamps, which was made slightly eerie by the sounds of coyotes howling and Jobildunc answering, following some primal call. Fortunately, the bottom of the Carriage Road is steady and gentle, and we made it out without trouble.
Here's another trip report from the same hike.
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