The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, checks in with Leesa Joiner – mother, hiker, and blogger. Here Leesa describes a trip to Evan’s Notch near the Maine and New Hampshire border…
Last weekend, the kids and I decided we’d been cooped up long enough by the rain – we haven’t been able to go three days without rain since the beginning of June. We threw our gear in the car and headed north to Evan’s Notch, along the Maine and New Hampshire border.
The first night we stayed at the Basin Trail camping area. This area is a very nice, fairly primitive camping area. We’ve camped here before and canoed and fished in the lake. The canoeing went better than the fishing.
This time, we came up with a 10-mile loop hike with about 2700 feet of elevation gain in the Evans Notch area. We picked the Mt. Meader trail and went south on the Meader Ridge, and down the north side of Baldface Circle trail.
We headed out early in the morning, leaving camp at 7:30 in the morning. It was chilly, so we put on a heavy shirt, and put all our stuff in our packs. My Osprey Talon 44 held everything very easily. It held my extra socks, first aid kit, rain jacket and pants, snacks and quite a bit of water. The kids all had the same gear, plus the boys carried small stoves, knives and matches. I did take my iPhone, not to make calls, but to use the GPS application. I find it works as well as my GPS (without all the features though) and I also use the camera feature.
We hiked for about an hour and a half, and counted 4 deer, 2 moose and quite a few birds. We were alone on the trail which surprised me, we’ve had so much rain and cool weather this summer, I thought everyone would be out on such a beautiful day.
By the time we finished taking pictures and snacking, we were ready to keep going. The hike was not very strenuous, but the views were amazing. We continued on the trail, listening to the birds and admiring the views.
We climbed past some open ledges, and reached the shoulder of Mt. Meader. We could see for miles to the east and north from this point. We reached the real summit of Meader in time for lunch. The summit is about 2782 ft in elevation. We set out after lunch, in bright sunshine and warm air. We hiked back to our starting point, taking pictures along the way. By the time we got back to the trail head, we were all pretty warm, and looking forward to a swim to cool off.
We quickly changed, and ran into Basin Pond. All I can say is, it wasn’t as cold as the Atlantic Ocean, but it was really chilly. It took a few minutes to get used to it, but we had fun cooling off. As I was relaxing after swimming, I had the chance to reflect on the hike, the time I spent with my teen-agers, and my gear. I did better on the hike than I thought I would. I am really behind where I usually am as far as hiking goes this summer. The weather and work really interfered. I am very thankful that my kids still like spending time with me doing different outdoor activities. It seems we have our best conversations while outdoors. My gear seems to be getting to the point where it all works for me – and works well together. I am more comfortable hiking than I have been in the past. It really becomes apparent that having well made, comfortable gear makes being outdoors more enjoyable.
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