Monday, February 28, 2005

Bear Notch - February 5th

I don't have any pictures from Bear Notch Ski Touring Center ( I struck up a short conversation with a gentleman named Bob while fastening my snowshoes, and ended up snowshoeing with him and stopping for photos just didn't happen.

Bear Notch is in Bartlett, New Hampshire just 3 miles north of the Attitash ski area. The day started at the Highlands Inn in Bethlehem, where Amy and I were enjoying a 4 night stay for our (original) anniversary. (22 years on Feb 5). When we left the Inn we were expecting that Amy would meet up with Fritz and Inga from the KSC at Attitash. The drive was uneventful, since the day was a crisp, clear, postcard perfect New Hampshire day. After dropping Amy off at Attitash I headed back north to Bear Notch.

The "lodge" at Bear Notch is quite a contrast with the modern lodge at Bretton Woods. Bretton Woods has a fancy gift shop, and cafe and comes complete with locker rooms with showers. The lodge at Bear Notch is an old farm house (tickets and rentals) and barn (snack bar). The men's restroom is a porta-potty in the driveway. The parking lot was a challenge to walk on reminiscent of the closed section of the Perimeter trail at BW 2 days earlier.

After acquiring my ticket and a small amount of advise from the attendant, I headed across Rt 302 to the more level section of trails. I was very pleased to find a picnic table near the start of the trails. It's so much easier to get the snow shoes on with the aid of a bench. That's where I was when I met Bob. We had a nice walk that mostly followed trails 12 and 13, with a short stint on 16. I had a nice conversation with Bob, although I would have liked quiet time as well.

I ended up cutting the day short, after two stops for shoe related problems. The first to tighten my boot, the second to check on a pain on my left heal which turned out to be a blister. Unfortunately, I didn't have a bandaid in my bag. I did get it cleaned up and bandaged when I got back to the car (and it's all gone now).

I'll definitely visit Bear Notch again. The trails were nice and secluded (as opposed to the golf course hugging trails at Bretton Woods). They've also got a pretty good variety of trails, over more than 60km.

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