It’s been a long wonderful winter and I’m out of superlatives. Besides, words can’t do justice to the wonder of Moosehead. It has the horizons of Sebago and the intimate geography of Winnipesaukee. It also has two feet of ice. So, speaking of Winnie, I am proposing a Hard Way Moosehead for next weekend. The forecast shows some warming followed by sub-freezing nights AND days later in the week. If the cold holds we could sail from Greenville to Rockwood, or visa vera. The warmth might smooth things out a bit, but quite frankly it’s not nearly as rough as Damariscotta two weeks ago.
The most fun was to launch the windward runner from a mound of hard snow and set it into a long easy hike. Even as the ice softened and we switched to slush runners, these mounds would still provide lift-off. The wind built nicely to a steady 10-15 from absolutely nothing. There’s not much that tries the traveling iceboater’s faith more than watching limp flags and straight smoke mile after mile. But it held all day, and outlasted us. Have a look at Denis’s video to see what we were sailing in; it really wasn’t as bad as it looks. As a matter of fact I believe that we risk becoming ice snobs. Sure, smooth ice is nice, but blasting around in sprays of slush, the boat all squirlly, and trying to stay powered up is an absolute blast. (I know, I said that last week…)
This is Mount Kimeo, a major landmark on the lake. It can barely be seen from Greenville, but will be the windward mark if we can pull together enough people for a Hard Way. Winnie Hard way rules will generally apply. Send me an e-mail directly if you want to come: hilltop.
This is what you’ll be seeing, and I think the surface will not be any worse. The only pressure ridge we found was small and easily crossed. We did not sail the proposed Hard Way route, so we will all be doing it for the first time. That’s one of the Hard way rules that won’t apply. The launch ramps at both Greenville and Rockwood are excellent with drive on trailer access. It’s about 15 miles as the crow flies.
So, put away the potting soil, get your survival kit together, and help inaugurate the new Northern Hard Way. The way it’s going, by the time I’m Stu Nelson’s age we’ll be doing this on Hudson Bay!