While Tyson led his AMC Cog trip up in the Whites, I figured I might as well keep myself occupied by leading a local family oriented AMC cross country trip. Whew did I keep myself occupied! Single handed parenting, brand new co-leader in training, an area I have been to only once before, and gobs of fresh powder which made pulling the pulk hard.
Herding cats when I am in the back and pulling the pulk is hard. We ended up going a different route than I intended, but it worked out. There was one other family with a five year old, and then a bunch of adults who wanted a local easy trip. We stopped frequently. At one spot I let the faster folks go explore a swamp while the rest of us took a major snack break.
For lunch, we looped back around to the one house left standing near the entrance. Apparently it is open briefly on weekends for tours. We missed it this time, but some folks on the trip had seen the tour previously and gave a good synopsis. After lunch, about half the group was satisfied to return to the cars. The rest of us attempted a larger loop that is marked on open street maps, but not on the Monson conservation maps. We found ski tracks and followed them through woods and logged areas. Without the tracks, I don’t think we could have followed the trail. The snow was powdery enough that the pulk sank down either side of the track and scooped snow on top of Isaac. We were generally headed back towards the house, north, when the tracks split. Most of the traffic went right. The map I had printed out indicated a split, and both trails went back to Monson, so we took the more traveled fork. It took us down the hill through nice gradual turns all made delightful by the powder. Unfortunately, it also took us in utterly the wrong direction. So we regretfully turned around and headed back up. At this point, I remembered that, atypically, I had my phone in my pocket and could bring up the open street maps app to navigate home. We had a good time. We even convinced one of the participants to step out of the track and try the powder for a downhill slope.