I parked and started on the Durfee Hill Road, heading down the hill first to get my bearings. My plan was to hike west to the end of Map M17, then about 6.7 miles on M18 to Shindagin Hollow Road, to tag where I left off hiking west. I would then return to the car, and hike east as far as I had time or ambition to do. But, having risen very early, and driven about 90 minutes, and as it was just becoming light, and the first day of EDT, I was not too well oriented. So, hiking down the hill was actually east. I saw where the trail turned off the gravel road to follow the gas pipeline right of way, M17 MP 17.6 and since it was buried in deep snow, turned around and hiked back up to the car, and on to the west.

I had parked just below a turn around with a no parking sign, where the plow turns around. Above and beyond that point, there was deep snow across the gravel road the trail follows. Walking in the runoff brook at the edge was the best walking, while available. I walked up the hill, and just before turning on the woods road at MP18.5, my left hiking pole broke into two pieces. I left it there, along with the unbroken pole, and continued to post hole my way along. Every 4th or 5th step I went in above my knee. This was not fun. I picked a flatly cut off stump on the left side of the road as a memorable marker, recorded a waypoint in my GPS, and turned for the car. According to the GPS, I hiked 1.2 miles in each direction.

Postholing! I took my snowshoes out of my car yesterday...

Not an entirely wasted day. I found out my hiking poles are too old to rely on. I found out my new army boots are pretty good for hiking (at least for 60 minutes!) and I found out that I should have left my snow shoes in my car a few more weeks. Here are the GPS track, elevation, and the Google Earth view of the track. The elevation plot is the west to east leg.

2011 March 13 FLT