2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Backpacker Magazine – May 2000

New Hampshire: Pop Goes The Forest

You can spend days exploring the Dry River Valley forest without seeing another soul, even if it sounds like you're being chased by a well-armed militia.

by: Jonathan Dorn

PAGE 1 2

Heather snapped upright in her bag when the first shot splintered the frozen night. CRA-A-A-CK! Moments later, another shot echoed through the trees, sending us scrambling to peer out the tent door. Our first winter outing was tough enough (a numbing -30ºF), and now it sounded like some idiot was shooting up the forest.

As dawn approached, New Hampshire's Dry River Valley sounded like a Civil War skirmish, with sporadic musket fire moving through the fluttering birches and snow-laden firs. A little investigation revealed a phenomenon peculiar to New England forests: Nuggets of sap freeze in the bitter cold and burst under the bark of trees. The resulting sound is staccato bursts reminiscent of gunshots.

To witness this exhilarating-if initially terrifying-deep-winter symphony, you need only visit a New England forest where it gets so cold that the mercury curls up in a tight little ball at the bottom of your thermometer. Hiking a few miles from the road on a February night will likely suffice. Look for a deep hollow where frigid air sinks, and wait for the temperatures to fall into the negative double digits.

We return every few years to the Dry River Valley, a long, deep wilderness in the shadow of Mt. Washington. The land is wild, the snow deep, and snowshoe travel challenging. For aggressive snow travelers, views from the tops of Mts. Pierce, Eisenhower, Monroe, and Washington are within reach. Or you can spend days exploring the forest without seeing another soul, even if it sounds like you're being chased by a well-armed militia.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Posted On: Jul 23, 2014
Submitted By: buddero
The Political Arena
Israel/Gaza Conflict
Posted On: Jul 23, 2014
Submitted By: Ben2World
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions