Ringing in 2018 on Street & Nye

I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily say that -12 degrees is cold.  Yea, just kidding. Brrrrrr!

On New Year’s Eve, Street and Nye Mountains were on the agenda for my Instagram Takeover for @teacherswhohike. A fantastic site celebrating teachers and their passions, from coast to coast!

The temperature was a frigid -12 degrees with a -22 windchill. I believe 9 degrees was the coldest conditions I’ve hiked in up until today.   Lucky for Mallory and I, we were protected in the treeline for almost the entire hike.  A winter wonderland awaited us on our final 2 peaks of 2017, and the first 2 official winter ones of the season.

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It was a late start to the morning, and we arrived at the Adk Loj Road around 9:30 a.m.  A quick IG video shot by Mallory before heading down to the lot.  The air pierced right through me. Almost took my breath away.   But I was excited!

Ironically, this was the first and last video clip from the entire hike.  Our phones succumbed to #phonefreeze throughout most of the day. Bummed, I was! But we made the best of it, as teachers always do!

A Happy New Year’s Eve hike. It is exactly how I wished to finish out 2017.  The mountains are home to me.  Home. The perfect place for a peaceful year’s end and hopeful year’s beginning.

After messing around with snowshoes or no snowshoes, spikes, attire and the “parking lot unpacking dance” we participated in, our chilly feet finally hit the trails at 10:15 a.m.

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Now, there were a few lessons learned on this hiking excursion.

  1. Frozen eyelashes ARE HEAVY!
  2. Save the Jetboiling for temperatures above 30 degrees.
  3. And buy waterproof mascara.  (Yes. Frozen braids and mascara are my signature look, lol!)
  4. BUY SUMMIT MITTS!! (Gloves no bueno)

The skies, though.  Mountain beautiful blues!  In less than 40 minutes, we crossed Indian Pass Brook with no problems what-so-ever.  I could, however, heard the water running under the ice, so I only stopped for a few photo-op seconds.

The brook bed glistened in the morning sun. Sparkling winter snow = The Best.

The typical “over and under” the blown-downs covered the next section of the herdpath, but so far, this trail was gorgeous.  I prefer it over the summer conditions.  The beaver activity at the “pond” was high! I remember this spot being absolutely silent in summer.  Spooky silent.  But today, it was spectacular.  Animal tracks galore too! No pictures of those amazing tracks though because my fingers were not coming out of my gloves and my phone battery had already lost 50% of its life in an hour.

It wouldn’t be a hike without mushroom love.  I guess cute mushrooms are more important than animal tracks, haha. (smh) But I mean, c’mon, this was a fantastic family of fungi!

Another hour of following the stream bed on the constant climb, we arrived in Narnia.  IT WAS AMAZING! Freaking freezing. But absolutely stunning nonetheless.

Mallory loving the red berries dangling from above.

I loved the mesmerizing berries too.  Currant hues encapsulated in a glittering blanket of safety.

Come with me, where dreams are born and time is never planned.

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At 12:30 p.m. we stepped onto the lookout boulder.  The view! Yup, even on the trek to Street and Nye, there was at least one view. And what a view it was!

Winter. My favorite by far. I know, I know…I say that all the time. But it’s true.  The snow-blessed MacIntyre Range melted my frozen heart.

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It was Mallory’s first visit to this duo…I couldn’t tear her away from the captivating scenery.

Steadily we climbed for the next thirty minutes.  I knew the junction had to be near.  Once at the junction, I also recalled Nye was a quick 8 minute jaunt in the snow to the summit.  Literally, it took us 8 minutes! Ha!

At 1:08 p.m., the awe-inspiring summit of Nye was staring right at our frosty faces.  Haha, yea…not so much. But I did appreciate the clearing to set the packs down for a bit.

Nye Mountain was my 16th winter 46er!

I swear, one of these days, I will get the hang of lighting the darn thing! Next time, boiling water in a thermos. We enjoyed some warm soup and quickly hit the trails again.  Your body temperature drops pretty fast once you stop for too long.

Mallory and I attempted a few summit selfies, but my phone wasn’t having it!  On went my shell to help with the shivering and another round of handwarmers graced my summit gloves. Street was a fast thirty minute journey from Nye, so a-hiking we would go. No time to dawdle.

Holy cow, the amount of snow on the trail to Street! Not on the path, but on the trees! It was just Mal and I.  We didn’t see a single soul the entire day! The woods hushed weightlessly as we passed through its home.  A sense of weightlessness wrapped itself around me as well.  It was just so quiet.  The air grew icy and numb.

“Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny.”                                                                                                                                   -C.S. Lewis

Far from home we were. However, a wondrous aura…that something surreal drifted among the forest was at work, without a doubt. Magical.  Serene.  Beauty.

I mean, look at Mallory!!! As if she walked right out of “Let it goooooo” herself! #elsaforever

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My phone was at 1% now and all hopes for just enough juice to take a Street summit picture were prayed!

My prayers worked! One photo and then…the “black screen of death” followed.

At 2:00 p.m. Street Mountain was Mallory’s 19th peak and my 17th for my winter round! The fastest refueling break ever, too!   And because I didn’t want to turn into a Jenny Pop, it was time to test out the new sleds! No more #frisbeebuttsliding for us anymore!

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Accidentally resting my sled down on the trail, I sadly watched it zoom furiously on its own thrilling ride all the way down the mountain! Haha! I’m still laughing.  I should have known better.

I finally caught up to my sled 15 minutes later.  Seriously! That thing went on the ride of its life! Slippery little sucker!

At the conclusion of the buttsliding extravaganza, we slowly made our way back to the trail register.  My heart felt terrible that our phones went kaput.  The IG takeover for @teacherswhohike had to wait until cell service and charged phones were available!

Until then, it was mantra time.  Hot shower, warm clothes, hot shower, warm clothes. 

At 4:30 p.m. (nearly sunset) we arrived back at my truck, just in time, saving us from becoming ice cubes! My contacts hated my frozen eyeballs.  I had mascara running down my face once my eyelashes defrosted, ha! However, despite all our ailments, the day was enchanting. Enchanting. Like something out of a storybook.  Narnia for sure.

An enchanting New Year’s Eve adventure.  It is exactly how I needed to end 2017. A year of extremes. But here I was, still standing.  A teacher who hikes. A hiker who teaches.  But most importantly, a woman who loves the crap out of life. No matter what the journey brings or where the path leads.  Love it all with a fierce passion.

Mallory and I were fortunate enough to be in the good graces of the inn’s owners, when we returned from this enchanting, frosty day.  They had yummy drinks, tasty treats and a warm fire going for guests of the inn for New Year’s Eve.  We rang in 2018, surrounded by good people who loved the mountains just as much as we did.

A big THANK YOU again to Jannie and @teacherswhohike for asking me to do your first IG takeover. It was so much fun!! I’ll be following along as always, as you all should 🙂

As for 2018, welcome.

I’ve been waiting for you,

J

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