Date(s) Hiked:
12/31/2006 - 1/1/2007

Trails Hiked:
A 3.5 mile walk down Zealand Road and Zealand Trail

Total Distance:
12.6 miles

Difficulty:
Moderate

Conditions:
The road is completely plowed, including the parking lots, yet the gate is locked. About 4" of new snow Satuday that was well broken out Sunday.

Special Required Equipment:
Poles very useful, some used crampons, most used stabilicers. Others like me, bare booted entirely.

Trip Report:
What a great day yesterday, a super time New Year's Eve, and New Year's day at Zealand Falls Hut! Thirty six had made reservations at the Hut. Twenty five wonderful, fun-loving people attended! The lovely, charming, and intelligent Hut Master, 23 year old Joanne, from Manchester, NH warmly greeted us and then joined in the festivities of the evening with Keith, a great guy from Pepperhill, MA; Brian, a cone flattening supervisor and wife Janice, a cone flattener from Andover; Paul R., a land surveyor from Augusta, ME; Kir, Nina, and Elyse, students from UNH in Durham; Poison Ivy, a journalist along with husband Shaggy (Dave), a photographer and office cleaner, from Mansfield; Hiker Bob, a network administrator from Belchertown; J & J (June), an administrative assistant and husband John, a transmission foreman with PNSH, from Sanbornton, NH; Arrow (Dave M.), a maintenance mechanic from South Berwick, ME; Ray, a USPO city route carrier from Centerville; Jay P. a landscape artist from Watertown; Colin, a grad student of the University of Anglia, England; Ms. CJ, a librarian from So. Berwick; Andrew, in inventory control, from So. Berwick; Becca, a graphic design student from So. Berwick; Andrea, an architect from Bradford, NH; Nicole, a mechanical engineer from Woodshole, MA; Gary, an airplane mechanic from Greenfield, MA with wife Tracy, an insurance agent; and Magic, one who sends you this Odyssey from Lancaster, NH.

After the last hikers arrived at the Hut at 5 PM, most dinners were shared, Ivy bringing spaghetti, Bob bring a huge Caesar's salad cheese and crackers, J & J brought huge Greek kalamati and manzilla olives, walnuts, cheddar cheese, crackers and American Chop Suey. In short, there was more food than we could eat. I brought beef stew and it returned home with me. The three tables were adorned with plenty of noise makers, a large, colorful 8' banner was hung across the front windows, "Happy New Year 2007," a festive gold centerpiece "2007" was added to our table that sparkled and twinkled under the soft glow of the many propane ceiling lights to give even more warmth and radiated much ambiance. Even "Happy New Year" paper napkins found their way to the tables. After much delicious champagne, excellent red wine, my Long Trail Double Bag Ale, thou many went to sleep early, 8 of us stayed up to see the new year begin with hugs, joy, and several toasts. An unique and fantastic way to welcome the new year!

In the morning, J & J had oven warmed more American chop suey, garlic bread, muffins. Others had oatmeal, ham, bacon, sausage, and eggs. Jay P., our Columbus Day Weekend of Camping Event acoustical guitar player, produced a ton of bagels, cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese, and then stunned us by adding a ton of salubrious NY style lox! Plenty to eat and more than enough, delicious, thoughtful food was shared. The forecasters were thankfully incorrect and all the rain, sleet, and gloom was well over by 9 AM for the very pleasant walk out, the 6.5 miles back to Route 302, from our winter wonderland in the mountains, a New Year's Eve celebration of great joy, laughter and hearty fellowship. Thank you Bob & Geri for organizing this 2nd New Year bash at Zealand Falls Hut!!