Monday, June 20, 2011

Sandwich Range

Last week I had a wonderful Sandwich Range Run. I do this several times a year, with variations. I almost always park at Ferncroft and climb the Blueberry Ridge trail, which is one of the prettiest trails I've ever been on. And that's how I started this run. Blueberry Ridge is steady climbing, but probably about 90% runnable. It gets steep and scary near the top, but I've developed a system! I found that I can fit two fingers in the holes left behind when the rungs were removed from the sheer rock face. By doing so, I could pull myself up hand over hand. It was quick and easy!

At the top of Whiteface, I got onto the Rollins Trail and ran fast over this beautiful, smooth, gentle ridge trail. This brought me over to Passaconaway. I followed the loop trail over the summit with side trips for the true summit and the veiw point. I felt great. Well, great except for the black fly bites all over my neck and back. Those guys were ferocious last week! So, because I felt good, I ran down the Walden Trail and then over Mt Wonalancet on the Wonalancet Range Trail. Walden is rugged and steep so a lot of it has to be walked. Wonalancet Range Trail brought me to within a stone's throw of Ferncroft, but I turned the opposite direction and did and out and back on the beautiful Kelly Trail.

I didn't see another soul all day. Most of these trails are beautifully maintained by the Wonalancet Outdoor Club. It is a stark contrast to the over-used and under-maintained Presidential Range or Pemi Wilderness. Maybe the AMC should get out of the hotel business and think about working on trails again! My legs hurt for 4 days after this run and my black fly bites are still swollen and itchy, but I can't wait to get out there again!

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