Andover, ME - 2008|
Trip synopsis and photo selections
From the HAE archives.
The 2008 team photo, Andover, ME.
Last year's artic expedition would be hard to beat, especially since it would be just Vincentoli and Timur this year. On the day the guys head north, Maine started right from Timur 's doorstep with a ripping Noreaster bearing down on the whole of New England. After waiting for UPS to drop off some last minute "equipment", HAE set out into the storm. Driving like McAnus all the way to the trailhead, Vincentoli and Timur endure nearly eight hours in the car. Of course, a side trip to Kittery Trading Post to purchase this year's map and the traditional Italian sandwich from Ammato's delayed them a bit.
It was decided that HAE needed to "pinch off" a small section of the Appalachian Trail in Maine they hadn't hiked yet just north of Grafton Notch. Arriving around 10 PM to East B Hill Road where the AT crosses, the two weary winter hikers decide to park the car right at the Appalachian Trail. We shared the road with a moose and nothing else. After wasting a half hour shovelling a spot for the car and then nearly getting it stuck, they decided to park the car down the road where a pair of "skidders" waited for their next forest to clear out. The entire hike, Vincentoli and Timur imagined the rental car would be found gashed open like a sardine can by one of the massive machines we partially blocked. Parking in Maine is rarely worry free.
On the second day of the trek, Timur and Vincentoli struggled over the last knob before Surplus Pond, the only real challenge on the trip. Timur 's sled got away from him on an ice ledge but it was only a momentary delay and soon the team was on the secluded pond. The Appalachian Trail cut across a small camp road at the south end of the pond and up into the Maine mountains. Before continuing up the Trail to make camp, the guys spied a cabin on the water. Of course, in keeping with Half Ass Expeditions tradition, it was their duty to "investigate". When the pair saw a dead wolf hanging by its leg from a tree, it was clearly a sign to move on. The guys set up camp behind a large boulder a short distance from the AT and stayed there for two nights.
The third day and the HAE team bagged the snowy but viewless, tree covered summit of Wymann Mountain. The lesurely snowshoe chuff through the beautiful Maine winter woods presented little challenge for the guys but for the endless search for sparse blazes among the snow covered trees.
The Appalachian Trail in winter. Can you find the AT blaze...?
The guys bail on the fourth day, worrying about the fate their rental car. Its a downhill cakewalk through logging country featuring some killer steeps the guys attack with their equipment loaded sleds. One run was about three quarters of a mile of high speed, anus clenching downhill. Awesome. The sleds proved to be some fine gravity powered entertainment as well as a real back saver. Timur and Vincentoli reach the road and find themselves dragging the sleds precariously atop the snow banks to avoid the high speed logging trucks. Before long, Vincentoli gets a lift from a local to the car and soon the pair are eating fast food in Paris.
Now the HAE Sled system was completely integrated into their camp system, Timur and Vincentoli look to the future of Half Ass Expeditions. Old age was slowly modifying the HAE hiking style. Gone are the days of endless partying on foam upon the Maine ground. The Team has decided they they weren't just getting older, they were turning into GOMERS discussing plans to incorporate big ass chairs, cabin tents and snowmobiles into the HAE winter hiking system.