Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rocks Tree Farm 2/19-21/2011
On Saturday 2/19, eight scouts and seven leaders met at the North Guilford Firehouse at 7am to drive North to Rocks Tree Farm in New Hampshire. Upon arrival, we changed into warmer clothing and lugged our gear down to the campsite, as the road down to the campsite had not been plowed.  After setting up all the tents, we set off to collect firewood and prepare the picnic table for the next couple nights.  We dragged the wood into piles and cut it into pieces that could fit in the fire pit.  Shortly after the fire was started, we had dinner- foil meals warmed up in the fire.  Mr. Ott also made chicken soup to go along with the meals.  Everybody had to stay hydrated with warm apple cider, hot cocoa, and soup.  After dinner, everybody hung out by the fire and some people played Big Booty, a traditional game.  Later, everybody went to bed for the night.  When we woke up, we changed and ate- oatmeal, pre-cooked eggs, and soup.  Soon after, we got in the cars and drove to Mount Pierce. The sky was cloudy so we didn't expect to summit this year.  The path was slippery so everybody either had to wear some form of extra traction on their feet- whether it be Yak-Trax or snow shoes.  We started up the trail at a fast pace.  We slowed down a little so everybody could keep up.  About an hour and a half later, we took a break at the junction about halfway up the mountain.  Here there is usually a few Canadian Jays that eat trail mix out of your hands, but they weren't there at this point.  A few people chose to turn back at this point, whether it be from exhaustion or injury.  The group that continued up saw soon that the sky was clearing up and we might be able to summit.  We decided to go a little bit faster because we wanted to get to the top of the mountain before the cloud cover returned.  A while later, we reached the Alpine Zone, the point that the trees were gone and the only vegetation was small shrubs. From this point on, we were completely exposed to the wind.  After layering up, we went on, following an already worn path toward the summit. When we finally reached the summit, the view was spectacular, you could see for miles in every direction. For a short while, we could even see the top of Mount Washington! This was one of the few days every year that was this clear on top of these mountains.  Once we took a bunch of pictures and a few people attempted to make snow angels (Mr. Ott), we decided it was time to return to the bottom of the mountain.  We left the Alpine Zone quickly, the wind was blowing pretty hard.  Once back under the cover of trees, we stopped for a short time to layer down and grab a quick snack. We even took off our snow shoes.  Going down was much easier than going up, we could slide or run if we chose to.  Once to the junction again, we stopped for a snack and there were Canadian Jays this time! After refueling, we continued down the mountain, Morgan and Ben attempting to sled on pieces of cardboard. About a half hour later we were back at the parking lot.  We got situated in the cars and headed to the hyland center across the street for a little while.  We used this time to use the nice bathrooms and talk to other people there that climb and hike a lot.  A short time later, we were back in the car on the way back to camp.  There, we changed, gathered more firewood, and packed our bags leaving only what we were going to wear that night and the next day inside our tents. Everything else was packed and carried up to the building at the top of the hill.  Dinner that night was pasta with meat sauce. It tasted so good after a day of hiking.  After a while by the fire, we went to bed, our last night here this year.  Bright and early, we changed and packed up the tents.  Shortly after, we were in the cars again, this time on the way to the Littleton Diner.  We were overjoyed to eat at a place so nice and heated. After we gobbled down breakfast, we got to walk around the street, going in and out of different stores.  The most famous to our troop, Chutters candy shop.  It is the world's longest candy counter.  They have everything!! Even three foot long gummy snakes!  Everybody spent the majority of their time here, and then met back at the cars.  After using the bathroom one more time at Dunkin Donuts, we started our long car ride home.  Four hours later, we were home, most likely sleeping, unpacking, or eating. This trip was a lot of fun and I am definitely going on it next year.  I think it was better this year with more people, so the more people that come, the better.
-Eric Weidman

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