This is my first mountain hike with substantial snow on the ground, three days after a Thanksgiving Eve snowstorm dropped 12 inches or so around here (southern New Hampshire). This was the kind of snow that clung to tree branches, brought down a lot of limbs and a few whole trees, knocking out power to many people in the area.
This is Route 101, about half way from home to Pack Monadnock. I was surprised to see so much snow still up in the trees three days after most of it fell.
Obviously several people have been up the Marion-Davis Trail ahead of me since the storm, making my passage a good bit easier.
The auto road to the summit doesn't get plowed, so everyone up here has either climbed or (going by some of the tracks I see) ridden up on a snowmobile. Fortunately no roaring snowmobiles ruined the peaceful quiet at the summit for me.
A snow-topped Monadnock in the distance.
Full panorama here: http://www.dermandar.com/p/adpDzK/pack-monadnock-2014-11-29 (click the 2048p option for best results)
Not anywhere near as much foot traffic out this way.
There are no footprints in the snow leading out to this outlook, so it looks like I'll be the first one out here since the storm.
Full panorama here: http://www.dermandar.com/p/dKwvUB/pack-monadnock-2014-11-29-jbb-outlook (click the 2048p option for best results)
The trail I left behind me coming down from the outlook.
On my return to the summit of Pack, I'm now all alone up here. It's very quiet and calm. I break out my new thermos and have some nice hot green tea, along with a protein bar that's as hard and chewy as if it had been stored in a freezer.
The temperature up here is in the low to mid 20's (°F).
Moon above the tree.
Coming back down from the summit, I took the auto road. This is the only place I ran into other hikers hiking. Even though the Marion-Davis Trail had been moderately traversed the past few days, it's clear that the auto road has been the most popular route going both up and down.
either the House or the Senate, don't understand a thing about how the filibuster has blocked things in Senate up until now, but the one thing they are dimly aware of is that Obama is a Democrat, all of the gridlock, brinksmanship with shutdowns and the debt ceiling, all of the horrible compromises when the gridlock occasionally breaks, the continuing languishing economy because no substantial stimulus or jobs program has been possible, or will be anytime soon -- all of that has been, and will continue to be for next two even worse years -- considered the fault of Democrats in the uniformed/Fox News misinformed minds of way too many voters.
This is just what the Republicans have counted on and are counting on, and so far, it has largely paid off for them. It didn't work to get Romney elected, but that's only because Romney was such a terrible candidate. Apart from not winning the presidency in 2012, the Republicans have found a winning strategy, not caring one bit how destructive for the American people this strategy has been.
As far as I'm concerned, the biggest hope for a Democratic win in 2016 is that the Republican primary process will once again produce a horrible candidate for the general election, and only the huge spotlight of being in the presidential race will highlight that candidate's flaws, perhaps for a brief moment reminding voters with terrible memories how bad Republican policies and proposals are for the 99%.
The next Democratic presidential candidate, if he or she wins, will probably do so with some gains in the Senate and the House, but while regaining the Senate is probable in combination with a Democratic presidential victory, the House will still be badly gerrymandered and very tough to regain.
The mess that the country will be in by 2016 will take a long time to fix, even with full Democratic control of Congress. Things will be even worse with a Senate that's still unlikely to be safe from filibuster and a Republican House.
So, rinse and repeat in 2018 -- the dimly aware/deliberately misled populace punishes Democrats for not fixing the mess in two short years, paying little or no attention to Republican obstructionism, and once again hands the Republicans the power to obstruct even more.
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