By Alicia Heyburn, Ladies Adventure Club
“Meet at Marginal Way at 6:40am for a ride to the trailhead with Simon Rucker, Executive Director of Maine A.T. Land Trust. He is great, save some gas, and you won’t have to worry with directions!”
That notice filled Simon’s truck pretty quickly with three members of the Ladies Adventure Club, an outing club for women in Maine. Three others met Simon’s crew at the trailhead off Route 17, to snowshoe into the Four Ponds Public Reserve Land by the Height of Land scenic view point. We made space in the lot for the snowmobiles; we were the only hikers, and after a group photo at the vista over Mooselookmeguntic Lake – Bemis Mountain was shrouded in clouds – we jabbed the claws of our snowshoes into the ice, and moved from the roadside into the wind-protected Appalachian Trail. 10:00am.
We saw lots of animal tracks including Canada lynx and snowshoe hare. The trail conditions were quite good, and the majority of the group was able to move right along, despite some slippery spots. We stopped at the first pond, Moxie Pond, for lunch. We could hear snowmobiles in the distance.
On the way home Simon took the fear out of the steep descents by having us sit down, legs out and elevated, to slide over the roots and ice flows. It was fun! We felt like otters. Much better than gingerly working our way down and worrying about falling.
We were back to the parking lot by 2:45. Great day out on the A.T. in deep winter!