Saturday night 02/15/14 Sue and I led a hearty group of friends Snowshoeing in a Nor'easter at Kingman Farm, Durham, NH.
Although almost a dozen folks had initially signed up, only 3 of us met for dinner at Newicks on the water in Newington, NH, and 5 of us ended up snowshoeing. A Nor'easter with 30mph winds had just dumped almost a foot of snow on us Thursday, and the prediction at the time was for light snow over the weekend. Everyone was pumped up until the reports of another major Nor'easter became more certain.
It had started to snow lightly by late morning Saturday, and grew slowly over the course of the day. Sue and I popped out to the supermarket mid afternoon, and by then the snow was coming down pretty good and the roads were slippery. I had sent an email out earlier to the folks who had said that they were still coming. I had told them that Sue and I were going to dinner for sure, but that we'd make the decision at that time based on the weather conditions as to if we were still going snowshoeing.
The drive from our place to Newicks is usually relatively short, about 8 minutes. But the snow was coming down so hard and the roads were petty miserable that it took over 20 minutes, even going the Spaulding Turnpike. Rick had no trouble getting there in his truck, and so the 3 of us had a great meal sitting next to the windows overlooking the blackness of the Piscataqua River with the denseness of the snow illuminated by Newicks outside flood lights on the dock.
As we were finishing up dinner, I made calls to both Brian and Tony to see if they were still coming. Both were, so I told them we'd meet them at the Kingman Farm parking area on Rt. 155 at 7:00pm. I figured that would give us plenty of time to get there from Newicks. Wrong..... Though we were only about 10 minutes late, the trip took almost 40 minutes in the storm. Tough going for sure. But, this is New England and you just have to drive slowly and carefully and love it.
Sue led the way, charging through the snow like a bulldozer, leaving us all behind in the snow flying off the backs of her snowshoes. It was just beautiful snowshoeing down the narrow trail through the quiet of the woods, snow pelting down all around us so thick at times that the tree line across the field was sometimes just a shadow in the pale light of the obscured almost full moon.
It was a little tough going because the previous snow storm had become crusted over due to the sharp cold that had preceeded this current storm. But it was just a wonderful time. We spent a little over an hour snowshoeing through the woods, and then looping back to the parking area through the huge field along Rt. 155.
Getting the cars out of the parking lot was challenging at best. Brian got his van out fairly easily, but Tony got stuck backing around. We had to push him forward so that he could make a backward run and set up to turn onto the highway. But when he gunned to get through the piled up snow, his car broadsided across 155 and face planted up to its hood in the snow embankment on the other side.
Rick and I both had small travel shovels. But despite shoveling around the wheels, we all, along with the help of a couple who had stopped to help, just could not get the car to move at all due to the ice. Sue got AAA on the phone as Rick maneuvered his truck onto the road behind Tony's car. I got Sue's 300 lumin pocket flashlight toarch and managed traffic while Tony got the tow rope hooked up between his car and Rick's truck. Rick just eased his truck backward and Tony's car came right out of the embankment. Smooth....
Tony and Rick came over to our place, and Sue fixed coffee for them both; Jim Beam and ginger-ale over the rocks for us. Rick had an early Sunday morning karate class to teach, and so he took his coffee for the road. Tony stayed, and the three of us watched the really good 2013 drama Runner, Runner with Justin Timberlake and Ben Afleck. Not sure why the movie sites panned this, imdb gave it 3 stars and Rotten Tomatoes 1, I think. We all really enjoyed it, so there you are!