“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
I hope everyone had a fabulous, fun, festive, and safe New Years! I know I did! It was pretty low key, as I am STILL recovering from the creeping crud. Going on a month peeps, how I have not lost my sanity I have no idea, but then I am a ball of mucus (sorry for that vision) and my brain is mush.
Thus I spent the evening with my amazing Sister-in-law and her family. We played games (who knew charades could turn into a workout!) and actually almost missed the ball drop because we were to engrossed in the game.
New Year’s Day
The last five years, I have done a New Year’s Day hike. It is my way to start it on the right foot, or boot. I may not hike for the rest of the year, but by nature I did it on New Year’s Day! Kidding….sorta!
Creeping crud aside, if you have been following the news, live in the Northeast, or just see all the Facebook statuses about weather, you know it has been cold AF.
Double Negative Digits
For realz! I know I have turned into a city slicker and anything below forty turns me into an icicle, but guys, even the rugged New Hampshirites who live in the White Mountains have admitted that it is beyond brutal.
It has been double negative digits.
Yes, you read that right. It isn’t even proper grammar THAT is how wrong this weather is.
With that in mind, a real traversing mountains hike was out of the equation. Even something as small as Arethusa and Willard was pushing it. I have been known for my go-getter attitude, (Fractured landing foot? I can still jump! In the hospital. Sure I will hike a four thousand footer!) but starting 2018 with loss of limbs or pneumonia, really had no appeal to me.
Glen Ellis Falls
We settled on Glen Ellis Falls which is a sixty-four foot waterfall located in Jackson, New Hampshire. During the summer months, the trail is made of well packed dirt with stairs, making it easily accessible. It is also why I typically do a double take when people call it a “hike.”
There is a parking lot across the street and combined with that, the trail is maybe a mile round trip.
While it is say during the Summer months, Winter is a whole other animal! They do not pave the parking lot or keep the trails groomed. We had to park along the side of the road and walk a little ways, until we reached the entrance where we had to climb over snowbanks to get down to the trail head.
The waterfall is usually rushing, even when there is little to no rain. But thanks to the sub arctic temps, it had turned into a stunningly large formation of icicles, seemingly freezing the water in time.
The path splits giving the hiker the option to go to the top of the waterfall or to the bottom. We chose to go to the top first. It was cool to see, as sprawled out before us was a frozen tundra that even Frosty would have been envious of.
We then walked to the base of the Waterfall. Thanks to the frozen winter wonderland, we were able to get much closer, stepping out onto the water which was inches thick and snow covered.
Not going to lie it was ridiculously cold. Thanks to the magical heat of hot hands (thanks Sarah!) we were able to last longer then I thought we would. As well as take all the pictures, which really did not do it justice. Even still, we were only there for about an hour, which was actually impressive since it was negative 12 out and with the windchill, it was more like negative thirty.
While I can be a wimp in the cold, it was a great way to kick off the New Year and definitely made me feel a bit bad ass braving the elements. While I do prefer hiking in the Summer, (give me nineties any day!) their is something so raw and beautiful to step out into the cold of Winter and embrace nature in its most primitive yet powerful form.
How did you spend the first day of 2018? What do you hope to accomplish this year? Do you hike in the Winter?