Backcountry Information Specialist #2

     Well sooner or later I suppose I must take up the gauntlet thrown down by Mike Micucci and tell you all why I can be considered adequate to carry around this funky little title that does indeed look GREAT on a resume!
       I'll begin with the confession that winter is not my area of expertise.  I do LOVE to backcountry ski and have been doing so without edges since I was a teenager.  I've done all the intermediate trails here in Pinkham Notch and continue to explore trails further afield on my skis (which now DO have edges!)  I also snowshoe extensively and on the old fashioned bear paws without crampons to boot!!!  Uphill can be really tough but boy, the downhill is fun!!!  I've been overnight in the winter a few times with my husband who has winter experience but I'm very very sensitive to the cold so overnights do not draw me in!  Partly why I enjoyed the Maine Wilderness Lodges so much is that I could spend the whole day outside on my skis AND sleep warm at night!!!
     But then come to summer and you've come to my mecca!  Whereas some of you might be piecing snow piles together in November with dreams of skis, I'm piling frozen dirt together in early April with dreams of greenness!
      I hiked Mount Major in the Lakes Region of NH when I was two.  My parents hauled me up my first NH 4000 footer when I was three.  Before the time of awesome baby packs, they strapped a child sized lawn chair to their backs to carry me.  I think it lasted maybe the first mile and then I was forced to walk the rest of the distance so yes, I legitimately summitted!  I cried the whole way but I must have been hooked because I haven't stopped since!  We finished the NH 4000 footers with my younger sister when I was 15, celebrating on the summit of East Osceola!  We also hiked I think every bump my Dad could find in the Southern NH Trail Guide, vast sections of the Monadnock to Sunapee Trail (we lived in southern NH) and the entire Appalachian Trail in Maine except for Katahdin.
        I moved on to college in Vermont and began to solo back pack, completing the Long Trail in several several week long trips.  I hiked the Appalachian Trail solo in 1989, met my husband to be in Pennsylvania, and brought him home.  We now have two boys who started earlier than myself.  We hiked the C & O Canal Path in MY with them in Baby Joggers at the tender age of 6 months and on!  As soon as they could walk, I began day hiking with them to every destination I could find under a mile.  We then slowly worked our way up 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile to longer and longer day hikes.  They now backpack with us with full loads and actually hike circles around my husband and myself!  As a family we are now working on the Long Trail in Vermont again...I think we are a bit more than half done, and the boys have 25+ of the 4000 footers in NH.  My older son is becoming an accomplished Rock Climber with the Kismet Foundation of North Conway and my younger son is enjoying the variety of the AMC Teen Wilderness Adventures!
Scott Family on the Long Trail in VT

West Bond is the Best!!!
       I am generally considered the crazy one of the four of us. They all love the outdoors too but I'm the one who is often coming up with the plans to the point that "Hiking" is often referred to in my home as "Getting Lost with Mommy"!
       Let that not dissuade you from listening to me though!  I am a graduate of the AMC Mountain Leadership School and am certified in Wilderness First Aid.  I have lead countless back pack trips for both adults and teenagers here in the White Mountains.  And I am officially a Registered Maine Guide which I am fairly proud of!  (NOT an easy test!!!)
       As a family we've also done a number of back pack trips in Southern Virginia and are about to embark on a 3 month road trip with some backpacking in the Ozarks and the Rockies, some biking trails, a canoe trip, a guided raft in the Green River Gorge (Woo Hoo!!!...We've been waiting for the boys to be 13 years old for this one!), National Parks, and a number of State High Points.  Here in the Whites I stretch out my maps and I check to see where on earth I haven't gone yet and yes, I mark the trails I've done with a red pen!  I guess this makes me officially a red liner and so my colleagues here at the desk had me complete the Red Lining Workbook put out by New England Trail Conditions and I'm at 58%.  (I actually thought that was low!)
      So I hope you've enjoyed reading my history!  It's really quite a privilege to be able to share it!  I hope I've either brought up memories or inspired new dreams in your minds and anytime at all you'd like to discuss possibilites for your adventures, feel free to call here at the front desk at Pinkham (6034665862) and speak with myself, Mac, or Mike!  You may equally speak with Meaghan, Peg, Nate, or our naturalist Rob.  We all love sharing with you our knowledge and love of the area and tips on how to make getting into the woods safe AND comfortable! 
      I won't be blogging with you from April to July due to the aforementioned trip with my family but hope to be back behind the desk soon after that!  Happy Excursioning!

Joyce Scott
Backcountry Information Specialist
Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center

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