Bubbas on Spruce Mountain

What to do outdoors today?  We’re talkin’ snowshoeing.

Uncle Tom boiling up

The Bubbas put aside their traditional activity of relentless bicycling through all four Maine seasons to strap on the shoes and head up and over Spruce Mountain for a 2.5 hour 4.2 mile charm of a walk this end of January day.  Twenty two degrees at the start, probably the same at the end.  The snow was lightly falling as we stopped at the top of Spruce for our traditional boil up break where Craig and I fired up our multi-fuel stoves and cranked out warming drinks for our two companions, Rigger and the Doctor.

Nelson, Rigger, and Dr. Archie

This was my third trip on my new MSR Lightning Axis snowshoes and I am enjoying them more each time I walk in them.  This time we had a relatively steep ascent up toward the top of Spruce mountain. I flipped up the heel lifters ( Ergo Televators)  on the snowshoes, which instantly relieved calf stress and actually made it noticeably easier to go up.  They are effective enough at altering the stepping that I had to release them as soon as the uphill stopped. The tracking on these shoes is straight arrow and now that I have the bindings all set, it’s 30 seconds to put them on.
You can argue about whether trekking poles are useful or not, but the only one who did a couple of downhill face plants was the poleless Dr.
The route we took from the top of Spruce to Nelson’s was over what appeared to be two feet of fluffy powder.

Overlooking MIrror Lake and Ragged Mountain

We all agreed that it was a super fun time, and I was really pleased with my energy out there today.
Looks like we might get our weekly storm on Wednesday again this week, so we’re plotting a night hike Thursday night- gonna need the snowshoes again.

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