It was 5 below zero at Abol Bridge at 6AM yesterday. My plan was to snowshoe into either the Hurd Brook shelter or the Birches. But there wasn't enough snow on the ground and it was way too cold for a long hike. I ended up hiking the A.T. into the kiosk and about 2 miles up the Blueberry Ledges trail. Took my snowshoes and yaktrax just in case, wore my Rockdancer hat, and carried a full winter pack. Hardly any wind, scrunchy 'styrofoam' snow, many ravens and small winter birds, no moose sheds, a dozen snowshoe hares, a dead sharpshin hawk, lots of coyote and fox tracks, not many deer and no moose tracks. Except for my loud footsteps the only noises were the ravens, chickadees, and juncos - very nice hike.
How cold was it? When I took off my sunglasses my contacts froze and I blinked them out, and the batteries on both my cameras failed after just a few pictures.
Later at Baxter Park HQ I got tentsites for May and August, I have to go back to make October reservations due to a new January-only limit on the number of reservations per day you can make. Found out some southbounders from Maine were there on Opening Day to get sites on Memorial Day weekend, Quimbly has bought 10,000 more acres near Baxter, the AMC will allow snowmobiling at Little Lyford and will have trouble if they try to remove boats left at ponds in their new purchase.
This morning at 6AM it was 25 below zero in Millinocket. Not the wind chill - really truly 25 below. Wicked. Looks like I was there on the week's warmest day!