The weather for the day after Thanksgiving was going to be nice, so with mother in-law watching the children, Ethan and I headed to Waumbek. He needed it for his list and I had never visited it when there was snow on the ground.
We got the parking lot at a reasonable time – 8:00a – and started up the trail.
There was plenty of snow on the ground, not enough for snowshoes, at least for a while. My husband seemed to do better with the snow than I did, so I ended up putting my snowshoes on earlier than he did. It is that odd part of the season where there isn’t quite enough snow for snowshoes, but a little too much for any other sort of traction. Regardless of the traction question, we enjoyed the hike up through the semi-open, leafless forest and then into the evergreens.
Soon we passed the spring, and then made the right-hand swing for the final bit of trail to Starr King. This is point where my husband (and the hiker in front of us) added snowshoes.
We quickly arrived at the summit of Starr King, where there is a marker, and then over to the site of the old chimney.
The next section of the trail was a nice walk on the ridge – never really difficult and without the leaves on the trees, we could see out to either side of the ridge. Along the ridge, we met the other solo hiker whose tracks we had seen along the way.
Upon arriving at the summit of Waumbek, we took photos and I enjoyed my piece of pumpkin pie. My husband thought it was quite funny that I packed up a piece of pie, but it was a nice treat for the summit and considering it was the day after Thanksgiving, very appropriate.
After a nice little break it was time to descend. Back at the chimney we met a party of four hikers which included several grid finishers, Ed Hawkins and one gentlemen who is very close to finishing a grid. After a nice chat, we continued down the mushy snow trail, and by the time we got a little below Starr King it was time to remove the snowshoes. As we descended it got worse, very mushy and slick with a little mud in some sections, much like greasy mashed potatoes. With careful foot placement, we made it down to the car with only a few minor slips and no major injuries.
It was nice a day to be out – plenty of sunshine, I had one of my favorite hiking partners and I got to see Waumbek in a different season!