Stone's North Woods Adventures (SNWA)

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by Stone, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I know, right?! But better late than never. At least I'll get to try them out.

    This is the style I want: traditional, not high tech metal and plastic.

    It'll give me some experience with them.

    And I'm not complaining a bit about 50F. ;)
     
  2. Theodore

    Theodore Member

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    Nor me. I never had good luck with snowshoes. They seemed just as tedious as trudging through the deep snow. Cross country skiing works great comparatively.
     
  3. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I tried cross country skis a few times. Didn't work for me because I'm "pigeon toed". Just kept crossing the toes.
    I'd love to use them -- I see their advantage. But alas.

    But I'm a natural in shoeshoes. Slow, natural gait floating on top of that deep base.

    I think these will be the best I've ever worn. A bit large for me, but it's the design that excites me.
     
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  4. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Ray Mears -- an influential teacher for me -- on improvised snowshoes.

     
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  5. Lockster

    Lockster Member

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    Nice video Stone, hiking through all that snow seems so foreign for an Aussie like me, but it was interesting to see the environment that you live in and also good to put a face to the voice to the name!
     
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  6. Stone

    Stone Member

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    L'ster, does Australia get any snow at all anywhere? I know NZ does, but Australia? Maybe down south in winter?
     
  7. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I had an extra long work day today because of a technical issue (a component of my audio recording equipment failed). So I got out very late -- right at sundown -- to try out the snowshoes.

    I love the shoes -- they float very well, even if they're a bit wide for me (I have to step out to keep from stepping on the other shoe).

    But the bindings are really funky. I've never seen anything like them before. Rubber. I thought they were designed to stretch over my boot. But the hole is not large enough. I had to stick the top of my boot (17" Muck boots) up through the binding from underneath the binding, attaching the boot to the snowshoe, then put the boot/snowshoe combo on my foot. Very awkward, and no good if I have to remove the snowshoe in the field -- requires pulling off the boot.

    {I found the source of the bindings here, illustrating how they are to be used. The site claims easy on and off, but these are not. Perhaps these are the wrong size for my boot -- they are loaners from a friend's mother -- and may be too small.}

    Plus, they don't hold my boot firmly, so my foot slips around on the shoe, and that makes turning difficult. No way to tighten it down.

    The owner gave me permission to replace the bindings. I may try some simple ones based on paracord.

    However, we're expecting warm temps for the next few days, then heavy rain on Sunday. We could lose a lot of snow cover then, so all this may be moot. Still, I'm going to try to experiment with different bindings.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  8. Neilsen

    Neilsen Member

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    Faber shoes have been awesome for me. I have a pair of traditional and a pair of aluminums. Love the traditionals in the deep soft snow. The new style aluminum are great in the spring with the ice. Ice is hard on wood and rawhide
     
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  9. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I've been watching videos about snowshoe bindings, mainly "traditional".

    Traditional materials ranged from leather to lamp wick (cotton), but I like these made of nylon rope -- which does not absorb water, and thus won't freeze up. No buckles, no muss, no fuss.

     
  10. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    ..... we most certainly do. There is a whole Ski Season here in southern NSW (eg https://www.perisher.com.au/ ) and Northern Victoria. Each winter you can count on a few dumps of the white stuff out in the Blue Mountains (about an hours drive west of the centre of Sydney) and around places like Orange, Lithgow, Bathurst and Oberon. The higher peaks of the east coast will get a dusting a few times each winter as well.
     
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  11. Lockster

    Lockster Member

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    Yes, we definitely do, as Andy mentioned, although it is mainly in alpine/Mountain areas. I reckon I could count on two hands the amount of days that I have been in snow, and my kids have seen snow once in Australia when we were visiting friends in Victoria (southern state), so to see areas like where you are which are covered for months at a time, it is very different from my reality here, particularly now as we are sweltering through a particularly hot summer at the moment.
     
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  12. Stone

    Stone Member

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    These photos are not wilderness, but back roads in my town just south of
    the biggest, wildest region on the east coast of the US north of DC: northern Maine.

    All of it.

    [​IMG]

    The joke here is, there's nothing between here and Canada but trees, deer, bears and racoons.

    (My town has the last traffic light going north on the upper US east coast
    until you get to the Canadian border.)

    It's that awkward, ugly time of year when the snow -- so beautiful just last week -- is melting and ugly, at least on the road. We're in transition from full winter to spring , commonly called "mud season" here. Plowed driveways have snow piles over 10'. Snow color ranges from white to coal black with all shades of gray. (Off road in the woods, it still looks pristine, but heavy and wet.) We've gone from a 3' - 4' base to about 2'. The last few days have seen temps in the 40's and low 50's -- a heat wave -- with light rain today. (I shot these pics today walking back from downtown on the back way.)

    We're expecting up to 3" of rain Sunday with significant flooding possible due to melting snow.

    Hurry up, spring. I'm ready now.

    dirty snow 1PG.JPG

    Dirty snow 2.JPG

    Dirty snow 3.JPG

    Dirty snow 4.JPG

    Dirty snow 5.JPG

    But there is still beauty here. This is the Piscataquis River -- tributary of the Penobscot, largest river in the state that flows through Bangor into Penobscot Bay, largest bay on the US east coast north of Chesapeake -- that begins on the upper AT near Monson (one of the coolest little towns in Maine) and flows through my town.

    I wouldn't try to walk on it now; looks kind of mushy. :oops: But it still looks pristine and beautiful.

    Piscataquis frozen.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  13. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I'm working today on editing my latest video -- my walk yesterday out in the south 50 behind my apartment. I hope to upload it by this evening, and will post a link here. These videos are going to be out of order time wise. I've got about four more from earlier times, but each is dated at the very beginning, so easy enough to keep up.

    But in the interim, check out this one -- not by me (as will be obvious) -- about Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the newest in the US. Baxter State park abuts it on the west, is MUCH larger, contains Katahdin, but is harder to camp in. It's a "state park" (actually privately owned, but called "state park"), and they have some pretty hard restriction on camping, backcountry travel, etc. I understand why, but I prefer fewer regs for those of us who are responsible anyway.

    I moved here to my current town -- about 1.5 - 2 south of this (shorter as the crow flies) -- for several reasons, but this is in the top 3. I'm so chomping at the bit to get up there. This summer come hell or high water.

    @ManOfSteel, this is what I'm talking about.

    And I can get there from here by ATV or snowmobile in the proper season, with all the gear and food I need for weeks.

     
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  14. ManOfSteel

    ManOfSteel Member

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    Yea I'd love to ATV camp there. Not to go and shred the mountains but to have a nice ride in and out on something that'll hold plenty of gear and go through just about anything.
     
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  15. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I still haven't read up on the new monument, and .gov is still in the process of taking it over from the private owners that donated it (along with a $40M endowment). But if I understand correctly, they're going to allow some existing ATV/sled trails to remain open in parts of the monument, but not all. There'll be less access than there was under private ownership. I assume some of the more ecologically sensitive areas will be closed to ATV traffic. But still, there will be plenty of trails to get in to some beautiful areas.

    Hell, for that matter, I consider the woods out back of my apartment to be beautiful, too, relative to some of the s*** hole places I've lived, especially in larger towns or cities (like Waterville and Lewiston; but Bangor was the worst).
     
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  16. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Here's a snippet of an ATV/sled trail map. There are roughly 3000 miles of them in Maine. That's a lot. I'm actually considering buying an ATV before I buy a car. :) Cheaper to own by far, carries everything I need to camp, at least in 3 seasons. And most of the snowmobile trails are so well groomed and packed, I think even in winter, some travel would be doable.

    It's hard to find complete maps on line. I need to get another wall map from the local chamber.

    But this one will give you a sense. This map starts near me. The town Brownsville is about 12 mi NE of where I live. You'll see Millinocket and Millinocket Lake in the upper right. This is not the monument; it is just north of of this map about another half hour, I think. Yet this area around Brownsville Junction and west of it over to the AT (search "100 mile wilderness Maine") and up north to Katahdin is spectacular, and much of it wild. The joke in my town -- which reportedly has the last traffic light on the US east coast until you get to Canada considerably north of here -- is there's not much north of here but trees, lakes, rivers, deer, bear, racoons and blackflies. And unfortunately deer ticks that carry Lyme.

    Once I get my professional feet on the ground and get some cash flow going -- this year (hopefully) or next -- I intend to host an ESEE gathering up here somewhere. There are several forum members living in this state. People can even fly into Bangor; it's a major airport. This area is also accessible off a I-95 north of Bangor, but obviously not by ATV.

    We'll do it after blackfly season so no one gets carried off or drained of blood. :eek: September or early October would be a great time. Bugs diminishing, most touristas (the state bird) have left. And Maine's autumn sky is legendary. Reportedly, artists come here from all over the world just because of the shades of blue in the sky.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  17. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    heck ya....buy an ATV Stone! air the tires down in winter and you'll have 110% traction.
     
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  18. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I'm on it. ;)
     
  19. Theodore

    Theodore Member

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    Let me know how the search goes. They are a dime a dozen around here if you do not mind an older model and turning a wrench a little.
    Uncle Henry's is your friend for used stuff:)
     
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  20. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Good advice about Uncle Henry's. (For those elsewhere, it's like a printed version of Craigslist.)

    Older models -- like me -- are sometimes better. :cool:
     
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