Yes, I enjoy the snow and cold. A big reason I moved to New Hampshire was because I enjoy all of the four seasons (although I’m not too keen on Mud and Black Fly Season). Naturally, New Hampshire also boasts the allure of mountains, lakes, forests, seacoast, small towns – and maple syrup.
We’ve been eager for some winter hiking, so my girlfriend, Debby, and I drove up to the Welch-Dickey Trail near Waterville Valley in the White Mountains. It’s a beautiful trail I’ve hiked in the summer and wanted to see what it was like with snow. Of course, it also offered the chance to get some winter fine art photos as well.
The day started out chilly with a light overcast, temperatures in the mid-teens, and only the occasional light breeze. As long as you’re properly prepared, the temperature isn’t a problem (I’m warm-natured anyway). The lack of wind certainly helped, though. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared some which offered a wonderful hike back down on the south side of the mountain.
A mid-week hike in the winter meant no one else on the trail. The silence and peacefulness all along the trail was a nice escape from the hustle of daily life. The only sounds were our footsteps in the snow and our breathing (and sniffling). Although we brought our snowshoes, we only needed spikes because the trail had been packed down fairly well by other hikers. Coming down the side of Welch Mountain, there were a few places so steep and icy the best way to go was sitting and sliding.
The 4.5 mile loop gave us a good workout. We were a wee bit tired and sore by the end, but enjoyed the day. When we got back into Concord, we went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, O Seafood and Steak, and then to Let’s Dance Studio for the weekly practice session.
The different trails and tracks through the snow – human, mouse, and bobcat – kept catching my attention along the hike. The lighting wasn’t always the best to really capture the tracks at their best, but I still got some nice shots. On the way down, we came across some large rock outcroppings that sported amazing icicles. Now, that the weather is slowly warming up, I’m not sure how many more winter hikes we’ll be able to get in this year.