The Bowdoin Outing Club encourages students to dream, organize and lead outdoor trips. This fellowship offers the financial support to shape the most creative and adventurous outdoor visions into real opportunities. The expedition should foster a spirit of adventure and encourage personal challenges and skill development and in the end, contribute to the growth of the Bowdoin Outing Club.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Ball Kids Take Utah #5: In which we hike less and lie down more

We loved these past two days. Yesterday (Friday) we had a leisurely morning; most of the boys rose around 8 and took a walk up the ridge to see the view we had missed upon our arrival the previous evening, but Nevan and I stayed in our sleeping bags a while longer, desperate to delay our return to the world of cold air standing up and moving as long we could. We made bacon for breakfast, confident that it was laden enough with preservatives as to have survived four days without refrigeration, and took turns going to poop in order to put off our departure even further.

We left camp just after 10, and discovered our packs lightened considerably by our previous night’s feast (or rather, I discovered this about my pack). The first several miles were a joyous downhill, and offered us a plethora of southward views down Wildcat Canyon. Knowing that we had less than six miles to cover, we rewarded ourselves for the incremental progress made in the first 45 minutes of our hike with a leisurely break to fill water bottles from a spring. We reached the trailhead just past noon, hoping to find the same amenities we had encountered at the last trailhead (read: bathrooms and trash cans), but were met only by a dirt road. After another long break, we soldiered onward.

We made camp just past 1 and celebrated by cooking quesadillas, then fell into a deep post-lunch warmth-and-sunlight-induced slumber, sleepily making promises to each other to put up tents soon. After a well spent, if uneventful, afternoon, we did eventually follow through on these vows, though not without a dramatic confrontation over tent cliques, whether or not they existed, and who would get to pitch their tent on the nice bed of pine needles. (It goes without saying that of course there were no tent cliques, though all the right people got the pine needle spot, and Aidan was plenty comfortable in his bed of hurt feelings.)

After a delicious dinner of spaghetti and red sauce, we sat around gabbing until Nevan started to tell scary stories. At this point it seemed like a good idea to be in our tents where nothing could get to us. Without naming names, one of us nearly pooped my pants after Nevan snuck up on our tent and began slowly unzipping the door. Overwhelmed, we fell asleep as fast as we could.

This morning was marginally faster than yesterday’s. I pooped as quickly as possible, mostly because midway through digging the cathole I got scared that our surroundings seemed like exactly the kind of terrain where one might find a mountain lion. Suddenly aware that while pooping I am at my most vulnerable, and compounded by the fear that anyone on the trail on the opposite ridge would have an unsettlingly clear view of me, I expedited the process as much as possible. Eventually, we got on trail.

We decided to spend the first part of the day solo hiking, staggering ourselves by five or ten minutes in order to allow ourselves some time for introspection and contemplation of the nature. Initially, some were skeptical, but after 45 minutes spent without everyone’s awful voices filling the air like a cacophony of terrible crows, we all agreed that we’d like to hike the rest of the day this way. Unfortunately, while stopped at a jaw-dropping (literally; I went several minutes without closing my mouth) vista of the canyon cut by the Left Fork snaking to the west, we encountered a young couple hiking the same direction as us, and decided that splitting ourselves up to take up six times as much of the trail was unnecessarily obnoxious.

The land around us was scenic largely for the remnants of fire it bore. Trees were few and far between, with a handful of charred-but-surviving ponderosa pines sparsely dotting the hillside. As we descended, the signs of a burn grew more frequent; giant trunks lay across the valley in an immense boneyard, while a few barkless goliaths remained standing, a reminder of the titanic forest that had once (recently, maybe) occupied the meadow. In between them, life had started to recover, embodied most clearly by the pure white aspens that grew from the ashes.

There is maybe some symbolism there if you’re willing to spend the time thinking about it, but we were distracted at this point by the realization that we were unlikely to find water at our campsite or anywhere on the trail leading there. The spring we had hoped to collect from ran dry, and none of the drainages nearby held water either. Eventually, we found a slowly running stream--more like a small pool--that held a greater-than-ideal quantity of algae, and forcing worries about giardia and norovirus from our minds, pumped our dromedaries full. We also ran into the couple we had met earlier, and learned that they were from Austin, sort of, and had recently sold all their belongings to travel the world. They had been on the road for 40 days, with no end in sight. They were very friendly, and seemed to find us endearing (or at least non-threatening), and so we made trail friends!

This last section of the hike was incredibly scenic, walking along the edge of a ridge with gorgeous views, and if someone else were writing this blog, I’m sure you’d get to hear a lot more about it. As it stands, though, you’re stuck with me, and struggling under the now all-too-familiar weight of a full dromedary, I was in no mood for views. Rather, Aidan (the other dromedary-carrier (camel?)) and I were in the mood to reach camp and remove our packs, so we hiked at a kind of delirious pace in which the scenery was more of a sweaty blur than any distinct shapes worthy of admiration.

We reached our camp a little past two, a beautiful site high up on the edge of a mesa, with a view much the same as the ridge below, but now we (the camel people) found it quite a bit more enjoyable, because now there wasn’t an awful wet rock on your back keeping you from lifting your head upright. After lunch, most of the boys scampered off to explore the (allegedly beautiful) west rim, but I was content in Bo’s hammock, and elected to stay behind to nap and read. Eventually they returned, and we made a predictably crunchy meal of beans and rice, walking out to the edge of the rim to enjoy our dinner with the sunset. Now we head to bed, and I can’t help but think this is an awfully nice way to spend a few days.

[Author’s note: It has been brought to my attention that I never acknowledged the outcome of Aidan’s “bathroom crisis,” mentioned in an earlier post. It was happily resolved, without the use of drugs, while we waited for Bo and Philip to return from running shuttle on Wednesday morning. I cannot overstate what a relief this was.]

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Ball Kids Take Utah #4: In which we learn the meaning of suffering but gosh if it isn’t pretty out

We rose early this morning, our newly aching bodies crying out as we left the warmth of our sleeping bags for the cold of the pre-dawn campsite. After a brief breakfast, we packed our things, and then the rest of the ball kids played with green fuzzy for a bit while I took the single most scenic poop of my life. I walked the recommended five minutes away from camp (so as to avoid digging up someone else’s poop, per the warning of the ranger at the visitor’s center), hiking to the edge of a canyon. If I craned my neck, I had a view of the river a few hundred feet below, and in front of me were the great red cliffs of the Kolob Canyons. Refreshed, I returned to the group, and we departed.

The first few miles retraced our path to Kolob Arch from the previous afternoon, but soon afterward we crossed a river and began to climb up… and up and up and up. It was at this point that we started to have an inkling of what the day might have in store for us. We realized that we had significantly underestimated the difference in difficulty between walking along the flat path of the river, and attempting to escape from the canyon it had carved. We soldiered on.

Totally fine, and not exhausted in the slightest, we emerged onto a flatter section that defined the beginning of Hop Valley. We loved this part, because it was beautiful, and, as I mentioned, very flat. Red rock walls framed the wide sandy valley floor, through which a stream meandered under the noontime sun. As beautiful as it was, the novelty wore off after the first three or four miles, at which point we became very tired and a little cranky. We decided to stop for lunch.

Recharged, our feet having spent time happily soaking in the cool stream, we resumed our walk. After a few more miles, we reluctantly began to climb again. A few hundred feet into our ascent, though, our tired trudging was interrupted by what looked like a big bird flying quickly overhead, passing only a few feet from Philip, and settling in a large bush near the path. We realized that it had been a stick, not a bird (at least, I did--maybe everyone else had correctly identified it as a stick from the get-go), and midway through being confused where a stick had come from, we heard an unsettlingly carefree voice call out, “Oh shit, man! You almost got tomahawked!”

A pack of shirtless young men (youths) emerged from around the bend, joking with each other and marvelling at Philip’s apparent luck. They seemed to be of the mind, rather fatalistically, that there was nothing they could have done to avoid this near-miss. That stick was going to be thrown, high and far and out of their field of view, and its fate would inevitably be out of their control. There didn’t seem to be anything to be gained from trying to shake them from this worldview, so we exchanged a few facetiously friendly words with them, and continued onwards. There was more uphill to do.

It was at this point that I began to suspect Philip was leading us into some kind of trap or ambush. Early in the day he had given us an estimate for our mileage, but as we hiked he seemed to continue to “realize” that we had further to go than we thought, and I feared he planned to double-cross us at some upcoming trail junction. Suddenly wary of our surroundings, I tried my best to enjoy the scenery of the higher elevation, which was drastically different. The upper crust of these rocky formation was a kind of volcanic deposit, and we seemed to have left the desert behind in favor of a terrain dominated by low-lying, scrubby plants, littered with big chunks of brown-black pumice-y kind of stone. It was cool.

We arrived at the Hop Valley trailhead, our 10-mile marker for the day, and found that we still had four more to go. After making full use of the restroom in the parking lot and checking for evidence of sabotage by Philip, we turned on to the connector trail that would guide the last leg of our journey. We were a little worried that we might not find water at our campsite, and resolved to collect it from the next source we came to.

Finding this water took a while. We were entering mile 12 when we crossed a small drainage through which a small stream flowed, and excitedly dropped our packs to fill up. (Not to rest, though--we certainly weren’t tired.) Luke and Philip valiantly offered to carry the five liter dromedaries, which added a literally nauseating 10 pounds of weight to their packs. They admirably carried them almost a mile before handing them off to Aidan and I, who were determined to see if masochism was really everything it’s cracked up to be.

Alternating between freakish bursts of energy and bouts of delirious exhaustion, we set off ahead of the group— of the mind that the sooner we reached camp and could remove the weight for good, the better. It seemed to pay off: we arrived at the trail junction that marked our intended campsite sooner than I expected, and after regrouping and selecting a good spot, finally dropped the weights from our shoulders for good. Or at least for a few hours.

We now prepare our feast— Philip supervises rice, mixed with curry paste and laden with an ungodly quantity of butter, and I chop cabbage, peppers, and garlic, in preparation for a kind of stir fry. I am overjoyed to watch Bo crank open the cans of chicken that had sat like bricks in my pack for the past two days. Thank god for whoever invented dinner.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Ball Kids Take Utah #3: In which we force our formless, feeble bodies to move once more

I lied. We did not get on trail yesterday (Tuesday), because of a bunch of reasons, but mostly because there were no available campsites anywhere in Zion for us last night. Other than that, though, our visit to the Kolob Canyon visitor center on Tuesday morning was largely a success: from Wednesday onward, we were able to reserve all of the campsites that we wanted. We are happy about this.

We drove from Kolob down to the (much much more built up and touristy) South Entrance in the hopes of finding a space in their non-reservable car campgrounds, but to no avail. Even arriving at what we considered a pretty prompt 9:30, we met a long line of cars at the entrance and several FULL signs posted at the campground entrances. We resolved to spend the night on public land nearby, administered by the Bureau of Land Management, which Nevan had gotten word of from his cousin (shoutout to Nevan’s unnamed cousin!). Reluctant to leave the scenery of Zion Canyon, we organized our food and gear and loaded our packs in a parking lot near the South Entrance visitor center, before departing to pick up some last minute supplies in town.

After a delightful lunch of $1 tacos (Taco Tuesday!) at Lupita’s Restaurant in Hurricane, we bought a few groceries, exchanged final words with our families, and headed for the BLM land. We found a campsite there, despite the best efforts of an unpleasant group of millenials who drove us out of a one potential site because we were “wrecking their view,” and had a nice evening hike/walk thing before dinner to re-teach our bodies what movement felt like.

This morning, we rose early, loaded the cars, and set off. Philip drove alone to the East Entrance, where we would emerge at the conclusion of the trip, while the rest of us made our way back to Lee Pass trailhead at Kolob Canyons, in the north. Bo then drove and picked up Philip, while Luke, Aidan, Nevan, and I ferociously guarded our parking spot at Lee Pass and intermittently played with the flat and green fuzzy balls (the frisbee and tennis ball). Reunited at around 1:30pm, we had lunch and began the hike, struggling under the weight of our undesirably heavy (40-50lbs?) packs.

The relatively brief three miles to our campsite was a good lesson in the frailty induced by a four-day car ride. We arrived tired and sore, feet already in pain, and immediately tried to resume the sedentary life we had come to know on our journey to Zion, sitting down with no intention of moving again. Despite our best efforts to remain in place, Philip coerced us into a 3.5-mile day hike (7 miles total) to see Kolob arch, which was allegedly really scenic, and allegedly “worth our time.”

It was— the arch was beautiful, though overshadowed, in my opinion, by the majestic ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa --its real latin name, though I understand that it sounds like exactly what I would have made up for its latin name) that stood near the end of the trail. I made everyone observe it up close (the bark was incredible!). We also ran into a few Amherst students, who seemed friendly, though clearly a little misguided. We made our way back to camp, arriving around 6:30 or 7, and Luke and I agreed to fetch water from a nearby stream for dinner. Though we believed the stream to be only a five-minute walk from the campsite, it turned out that a few hundred feet of canyon wall separated it from us, and we were instead forced to journey almost a mile to find it. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but with newly sore feet, we were unenthused.

We now relax at camp, waiting to feast on burritos stuffed with beans and rice that will almost assuredly be pretty crunchy--but everything tastes good outside, or so I’ve been led to believe, and we’re in good spirits.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Ball Kids Take Utah #2: In which we are sick of all our music but the drive gets less monotonous

Kansas was a mixed bag. We were surprised and impressed by the beauty of the rolling plains of much of the eastern part of the state; everything got a whole lot flatter in the western half (topography is directly correlated with excitement). Luckily, a sea of wind turbines entranced us, and spirits were buoyed by the warmth and sunshine and several heated games of ‘My Cow.’

We made it to Denver for dinner, hoping that L&L’s Hawaiian Barbeque could provide us a taste of Bo’s homeland, but a 30-minute wait for food forced us to look elsewhere. After an extremely (almost uncomfortably) filling meal at a Mexican grill a few doors down, we plunged westward through the Rocky Mountains. (Of note: it is at this time that the majority of the Ball Kids became aware that Aidan had not yet had a bowel movement on the trip. Panicked, we made plans to purchase laxatives the next day if the situation remained unresolved.) The big takeaway from this section of the drive: the Rockies at nighttime are significantly less scenic than during the day, when there is light and the mountains are visible. We made quick camp at a state park off I-70, allegedly adjacent to a lake, though no lake was visible.

Rising early the next morning, we discovered that there was a lake (!), and that it was mostly frozen over, and that we were cold, so we packed up and resumed our drive. It was at this point that we started seeing things that were not endless grass and farms, and we were pretty stoked about this. First some mountains, and then cool cliffs and canyons, and more mountains— great stuff, overall. We reached Moab at midday, despite spending much of the morning stuck in a caravan of cars  terrified to pass two intimidating state trooper SUVs.

We shopped for groceries (and digestive aids) among hordes of our dirty outdoorsy compatriots in Moab, and then set a course for Monument Valley. Slow service at an A&W along the way was offset by the scenery, which was breathtaking. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the buttes in Monument Valley, we continued southward. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening snaking between Utah and Arizona, and currently make our final approach towards Zion under the cover of darkness. Tomorrow we'll get permits, run our shuttle, and hopefully get on trail!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Ball Kids Take Utah #1: In which we are always prompt, and continue to drive responsibly

A little introductory information: We, Jesse Chung, Nevan Swanson, Philip Kiefer, Aidan French, and Bo Bleckel, hereafter referred to as The Ball Kids for our love of all ball-related sports and games, are driving from Maine to Zion National Park in the state of Utah to backpack for a week.

A little after Nevan finished his class on Friday, the five of us stuffed our supplies into an unwieldy bag strapped to the roof of Philip’s Subaru Impreza, crammed our gangly bodies into the car, and said goodbye to our friend Luke forever. We pointed the car south, with plans to spend the night with my (Jesse’s) parents outside Washington, DC. We arrived around 2 am, under the impression that the worst of the driving was over, and were graciously welcomed by my parents, who had valiantly napped in order to be awake for our arrival.

The next morning, we received surprising news! Luke, whom we’d believed optimistically had been left behind in Maine, had--determined to share in our experience, no matter anyone else's plans--caught a flight down to DC in the hopes of joining us. We begrudgingly accepted him into the ranks of The Ball Kids, and received a dowry of sorts from Luke's parents in the form of their Audi Q5 after picking him up in Bethesda, MD. (Matt and Ellen, we are eternally in your debt.)

Seated and spaced considerably more comfortably, we set off westward. Driving was uneventful— everyone drove the speed limit, which of course meant that no one was pulled over for cruising across Ohio at 22 mph over the limit, and no one was fined $166. Late in the evening, I operated a manual transmission car on a road for the first time, driving through dense fog and heavy rains to great success and general awe. We arrived in Kansas City at around 3am central time, after a disorienting series of timezone and daylight savings time changes. Bert Berkley, grandfather of future elected office-holder Kate Berkley, generously welcomed us into his home.

After a delicious breakfast the next morning, Mr. Berkley gave us a fascinating tour of the beautiful and impressive art that he and his wife, the late Joan Berkley, had curated in their home over the past 50 plus years. We made plans to meet Bert for Kansas City barbeque on our way back east, and reluctantly departed his hospitality, heading towards the Rockies.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Backpacking the Gila Wilderness: Preparing to Leave.

After two long weeks of midterms and a few frantic days of packing we are on our way to the Gila Wilderness. The first leg of our journey consisted of a relatively brief drive down to Boston from Brunswick, and now we're sitting on the third floor of Tracey and Coco's house in Brookline unpacking our gear, checking it and repacking it. There are some admittedly odd items mixed in with our tents, layers and other standard backcountry equipment: paintbrushes, sketching kits, and camera gear will be accompanying us into the wilderness. Over the course of our travels we hope to capture the spirit of the wilderness in several artistic ways so that we can communicate the experience back to students at Bowdoin and inspire them to seek out their own adventures.

The Gila Wilderness is the oldest wilderness area in the United States and contains some of the best backcountry camping in the US. It's an area rich with history and natural splendor. The river-carved canyons contain several ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and the forests and mesas served as a stomping ground for Aldo Leopold during his early years in the forest service. Later, he would look back on his time in the Gila for inspiration while pioneering the national wilderness movement.

From our starting point at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument we plan to follow the West Fork of the Gila River out into the canyons, camping several days along the way. The river should provide ample water for our travels, allowing us to keep packs light. 

The true challenge will come when we exit the West Fork canyon. We'll be spending a night atop the mesa between the West Fork canyon and the Middle Fork, which is uncleared and will only have limited sources of water. Erring on the side of safety, we are going to to carry water with us over the Mesa.

From the mesa top we will push on to the Middle Fork. We hope to spend two days base camping in the canyon so that we can do an out and back hike to the top of Yellow Mountain, an 8000 foot peak that rises above the wilderness surrounding it. Finally, we will follow the Middle Fork back towards where it rejoins the West Fork before finally hiking out of the wilderness. In total, we expect to be in the wilderness for eight days.

Here in the comfort of Boston, it's hard to believe that we'll be spending the next week in tents with only snakes, bears and other wildlife for company. Nevertheless, group excitement is high. Tomorrow, we'll pack our final meals, do our last gear check, and then head for the plane. Next stop, New Mexico.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

For our Beyond the Pines trip we (Andrew Phryuber, Lizzie Kenny, Daniel Zeller, and Stephen Ligtenberg) traveled to Gaspesie National Park in Quebec. The park is home to the Chic-Choc Mountains, as well as the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains in Quebec. We spent 9 days skiing and snow shoeing around the park, spending most of our nights in huts and two backcountry camping.
Off we go!

Day 1: After a very cramped 10+ hour car ride, we arrived at Village Grande Nature. After some translational difficulties, we were able to explain that we wanted to park the car there for the next ten days, and sleep in the parking lot that night. Kudos to Daniel for his French skills!

Day 2: The next morning we set out into the park. We traveled on a snowmobiled path, which made things significantly easier, but it was still a hard climb up into the park. It became clear that skiing up all the hills was not an option, so we had to boot pack the steepest parts. We arrived at Le Huard just as the sun was setting (aka 3:30). With a wood stove, counters to cook on, and bunks with mattresses, it became clear we would be living in the good life in the huts. 
First day of skiing

Day 3: With snow softly falling and the path looking like a winter wonderland, we headed out to the next hut. We traveled on the snowmobile path for a while, but then turned onto unbroken trail as we began to climb to the next hut. We quickly learned that breaking trail with sleds while going uphill is not an easy task, and it was slow progress, especially with sleds tipping over every few minutes. Thankfully, someone who worked in the park was also heading up to our hut on a snowmobile, and he passed us when we were about half way up, making the rest of the trek much easier. After arriving at Le Mesange, Stephen, Lizzie, and Andrew climbed to the windy top of Pic de l'Aube.  Being pelted with ice blowing off the trees was a pretty good indication that a storm was on its way, just in time for Christmas. 
Nearing the summit

Day 4: Merry Christmas! We woke up to freezing rain, but decided that it would not get any better and started heading to the next hut. Once again, the trail was unbroken and going was slow. We were making some progress until we came to a lake that we were supposed to cross, but it was not frozen enough to do so. After spending some time wandering around to see if there was a way around the lake, we decided to turn back and went back to the hut. It was a good decision as the rain continued and turned into snow later, but we were were able to enjoy watching it from the warmth of the hut, and had a great game of Settlers of Catan. 
Le M├ęsange

Day 5: After having to turn around, we had to adjust our schedule, and therefore went towards the western section of the park early, planning to find somewhere to backcountry camp along the way. Due to the rain the day before, the hill down was very slippery, so there were some spectacular wipeouts before we decided to walk down the steeper sections. We turned onto a side trail that said it led to the next hut, but were once again forced to bushwhack around a non-frozen lake. Not wanting to go much further on the unbroken trail, and finding a lovely flat area by the side of the lake, we decided to stay in this area for the next two nights. We built some awesome snow shelters/snow kitchen, and finished the night with Ramen Bombs. 
Daniel's snow shelter

Day 6: With nowhere to go, it was a rest day/free to do whatever you want day. Andrew decided to go investigate the trail to the next hut. He found it to be impossible to follow and pull sleds on, but luckily discovered another way to go. Stephen, Lizzie, and Daniel decided to cross the lake, which had frozen more during the night, and explore the nearby saddle, which had spectacular views of the park and the nearby ocean. 

Day 7: Thanks to Andrew's investigating the day before, we set out on the correct path. We had to bushwhack our way back to the main path, but then were able to follow it for quite some time. We saw our snowmobile friend again - luckily he was once again going to our hut (La Carouge) and plowed the way. The going was fairly easy and we arrived at the hut a little after noon, meaning a warm lunch was in order. The snow started really falling while Stephen went to check out if a creek was passable, or if we would have to go a super long way to the next hut. Luckily the creek was pretty frozen, and we figured with the amount of snow that was coming down that we should be fine.
Breaking trail 

Day 8: A ton of snow had fallen over night, and it was still coming in the morning. We turned onto a less traveled trail, and it soon became evident we would have a much harder day. The storm the night before had made giant snow drifts everywhere, and we sank in even with snow shoes. After a long climb up through the woods we reached a saddle, and then traversed along a slope for a little while. We stopped at a day shelter to warm up and have lunch, but were too cold to sit for very long. It was then another long climb, and the wind picked up dramatically while the temperature dropped. It was a very cold last kilometer, and we were extremely relieved when we arrived at La Chouette. It was our first night with other people – a French Canadian couple who were very confused about what Settlers was as we kept asking to trade sheep and wheat.


Day 9: Stephen and Andrew woke up early to summit Mt. Logan. It was still bitterly cold, and due to all the wind the day before, the path was hard to follow, so they were forced to turn around before reaching the summit. After they returned and warmed up with breakfast, we headed out in the direction of the cars. What had been a struggle in the blizzard the day before was a lovely ski down, and then we went along the snow mobile path for about 14 km before cutting across a lake to stay at Le Huard again. It was clear enough that we actually had our first kinda real sunset just as we arrived.

Day 10: We departed Le Huard and began to head for the cars. Luckily with fresh powder on the ground we were able to ski down the steepest section, and glided along for quite some time after. It was much easier going out of the park than it had been coming in. We reached the car around noon and did the fastest pack up ever, not wanting to stay in the cold any longer - the car read -2°F. We strapped the sleds to the roof this time so we had a bit more room. There was significantly more snow on the roads and ice floating in the ocean, showing how cold it had been. We stopped for some Poutine at a lovely gas station restaurant, had a great view of the Chic-Chocs as we drove back through the other side of the park, spent over an hour at border control, and then celebrated New Years at a rest stop before reaching Brunswick at around 2.
Back to a warm car!