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 Owl's Head 2/3/2007 
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 Owl's Head 2/3/2007
After a night of snow there was about 10" that had fallen at my 1500' elevation by morning. The backpack and Ghostdog were in the car and I began to proceed forward on my 250' driveway. About half way, snow had piled high on the front bumper preventing me from continuing forward. Run to get the shovel. Start shoveling. I've a hike to go on. Shoo, made it out to the well plowed & sanded mountain road. Heavy salt on the secondary road & the interstate between the plowing left several inches of slush to hydroplane during the ride. A white knuckle ride from squeezing the steering wheel in fear! After going through Franconia Notch, there was noticeably less snow depth and the highway was almost dry. Two separate worlds, I thought.

Dougeh was getting prepared when I arrived at 7 AM. Through emails we scheduled the hike one half hour earlier. Mad Townie, a moderator from Cape Elizabeth, Maine arrived. Then rocksnrolls, a handicapped and elderly van driver from Belcherton. We geared up and hit the trail at 7:30. About a mile into the hike EarlyBird, a teacher from Nashua, caught up to us wearing snowshoes. We were amazed at her speed as she quickly caught up to us, we were moving along at a very quick pace. Another hiker to share fun with!

We walked to Black Pond took pix of the pond, the Bonds and Owl's Head. I asked Doug to take out his compass and guide us thru the open hardwood forest during the next hour's bushwhack. His first using a compass bearing in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Just over an hour later we merged with the Lincoln Brook and Trail and continued on.

I was puzzled why I had trouble keeping up with the group. As though I had no energy. Throughout the past several hours, my planta fascia, a nerve or tendon foot condition had been causing me extreme sharp pain. It is like stepping on a lit cigarette or stepping on a nail for many minutes at a time. Then it returns often. I'm in pain, slowing down the group being fatigued, and Ghostdog is hopping on one back foot, in the middle of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. We were just 100's of feet from the slide, having made the final brook crossing. It was 1:30. Only one correct choice for me.

Shaking each one's hand, I asked Doug to show the group to new summit and sign. He had joined another group of us to the new summit in early September. As I turned to walk back, Doug stated he would walk out with me and was adamant each time I repeated my request. We wished the group success, happy trails, and started the long slog through the snow back to our vehicles. On the way back, I suddenly acquired a sharp headache, then realized immediately what happened. I was severely dehydrated! That was why I couldn't keep up with our group. Why I felt fatigued. I brought 4 liters of water and only drank 1 liter on the. Time to drink water every 10 minutes. The headache soon left and I felt stronger now.

In fact I felt reinvigorated fully, even considered returning and bag the summit. No, it was too late. Get back safe. The mountain will be there. I choose to return via the bushwhack route, its little hills, plenty of limb and trees to climb over instead of following the easy trail. Now that I was hydrated and had my strength back, I wanted a workout! We arrived at our vehicles at 6:30. That's 11 solid hours of hiking. Geesh.

We went to the Woodstock Station for a much needed hearty meal and some beer to wait for the others, who said they would meet us there. Doug left at 8:30 and I at 9. Exhausion was setting in. Doug later wrote to say he received an email from the others who did summit and made it out safely. They had returned to their vehicles at 9:30 PM. 15 hours of solid hiking. Egads, some hikers really do take hiking most seriously!

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:15 pm
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Great job Magic!

I'm glad you recognized the problem and didn't risk it.

and big cudo's to Doug for giving up his summit hopes to help.

The mountains will be there, just glad you'll have the opportunity to try again!
Bill

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:58 pm
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Is Ghostdog all right?
Hopping on one back foot does not sound good

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:28 pm
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She has planta fasciitis also. She got it coming down OH slide in September. Hopped on outta there. I was hoping she would leave the condition on our return. We hike, or used to hike, too much. It comes and goes. She'll be as fine as I will. It mostly goes.

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Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:02 am
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 Lost and Found!
My crampons were found by Damon on the trail that day. Glad I had my name on them. Damon placed them on my windshield. Thank you Damon!

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Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:05 pm
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