Saturday, May 30, 2015

Moosilauke, Main Peak and South Peak (TW72). May 24, 2015

Gorge Brook Trail, Moosilauke Carriage Road, South Peak spur trail, Snapper Trail

We are in the process of moving and my maps are in the new home (I'm typing in the old one)!  Therefore, from memory, I believe this was around 7.5 miles (loop hike) and perhaps 2700 feet of elevation gain.

We are moving this week and next, but we are still getting out there to hike!  I don't have much time to post the trip reports, though.  Funny, that seems to have been my running theme for a life has been and continues to be busy busy busy.  Homeschooling two kids who are academically ambitious, plus running them around to their zillion activities, plus getting in those weekly hikes....well, that doesn't leave much time to put together verbose trip reports.  I'll have some down time in early July, so I'll probably write a few calm and relatively more coherent posts then.  None of this is meant as a complaint -- I am fortunate my life is so full and interesting, and that I get to spend so many hours with the people I love.

The trip report -- mostly in captioned pictures because I have to go put a bunch of stuff in boxes. (So excited! We love our new place! -- More on that later!).

Sage has done so many Trailwrights peaks with Alex and me that she decided she may as well finish the list.  We therefore got nearby South Peak when we hiked the main peak of Moosilauke last Sunday.

It's official hiking season for all those folks who do not hike year-round.  Therefore, the trails were full of people on our way down (we usually start too early for most hikers, so we have the trails to ourselves on the way up and we share them with a million people on the way down).  There were also quite a few dogs -- some were well-behaved, and one in particular was...well, not so well behaved (and off leash).  Remember, folks, you must keep your dog under strict physical (leash) or verbal control in the Whites.  See this link for some great tips about dogs and hiking.

Starting off on Gorge Brook Trail

This trail is 3.8 miles long and is usually fairly gentle.
There are only a few steep and rocky stretches.

A view on the way up.

Reaching the scrub, almost at treeline.

Summit, straight ahead.


View north

View toward South Peak

It was windy up there!


Heading toward South Peak

On spur trail to South Peak

Sage on the summit of South Peak

Alex and Sage on the summit of South Peak --
the main peak of Moosilauke is in the background.

View from South Peak

Me on the summit of South Peak
 We ate, we drank, we soaked in the views, and we descended.

I'll have another trip report up tomorrow -- we did the Osceolas two days after we hiked Moosilauke.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cannon. May 17, 2015

We got to share another hike with our friend John last Sunday.  He was heading up Cannon and over the Kinsmans -- unfortunately, we had to turn back at Cannon.  We are finishing up our school year, plus the girls have standardized tests, so we had to make today a quick one.  We will do a longer, more extensive hike this Sunday (May 24).  We are fortunate to have full and active lives; there is time for everything if one juggles it all just so.

Kinsman Ridge Trail.  Around 4.2 miles roundtrip with about 2100 feet of elevation gain.

A mini-mountain of gravel sat near the trailhead.  I'm not sure what's going on with that parking lot in terms of construction, but I guess the answer will be made clear within a few weeks.  I'll show that mini-mountain below, in this trip report's last photo.

Our morning, mostly in pictures and captions ---

John and Alex, about to begin the hike.

Sage tying her boot before hitting the trail.

Snow-free trail (for the most part).  Woo-hoo!

Skiers were flying down this part of the trail just six or seven weeks ago.

The connection to the ski slopes (hikers take a left here)

Some snow remained higher up --
though nothing that required snowshoes or microspikes.

We didn't bother going to the viewpoint on the way up
 since we were fogged in.

All of this -- tips of trees, boulders, everything --
was under snow not that long ago.

Heading up the summit tower.

The girls in a cloud.

John, with Franconia Ridge behind him (hiding in the clouds)

Max, who is handling his recent 4Ks
 as though he didn't take the entire winter off

 Our pace was steady on the way up.  It was a beautiful hike -- the fog rolled through the trails creating a dream-like atmosphere.  That's one thing you don't get in winter that you do in spring/summer/fall -- mist and clouds rolling in front of you, just above you, and around you.

We bade goodbye to John after reaching the summit -- Alex wanted to continue with him to the Kinsmans, but I reminded her of all the things we needed to do that afternoon.  I wish we could have blown off our responsibilities.  The girls' education is important, however (of course), and there was prealgebra to do and standardized tests to down we went.

The viewpoint on the way down...still Cloud

As we descended, the fog burnt off.  The 21 people and three dogs who were ascending as we were descending probably had views by the time they reached the summit.  This was our only view of the day --

Back at the trailhead!

Here's that mini-mountain of gravel.  The girls wanted to climb it, but I imitated a wet blanket and said no.

Yet another great morning.  I love the fact that we live near these mountains.  I love that we can hike a mountain the same day the girls take their end-of-year standardized tests.  Homeschooling has brought us so much flexibility, and I am grateful we can do it.

Funny, there are so many misconceptions about homeschooling in general -- but more about that in another post.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Trail Work -- May 9, 2015 with Trailwrights

Alex and I repainted every single one of the blazes on the Artists Bluff/Bald Mountain Loop Trail last Saturday.  Sage would have joined us, but she was on a trip with her Girl Scout troop.

Other Trailwrights crews built rock steps and cleared water bars.  We each put in between 6 to 8 hours of hard work.  Good times.

Alex and I were happy to do our small part -- looking forward to doing more trail maintenance with Trailwrights in the months and years to come.

Tecumseh. Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I'm honestly not trying to bore anyone by posting 8 million trip reports of Tecumseh.  On some weeks, we only have a few hours to squeeze in a hike.  Tecumseh is close to our home and we can get up, down, and back to our house within three and a half hours.  Besides, we didn't have Tecumseh for May yet, so we felt we may as well go get it.  We MAY chase the Grid...the girls say they want to, but I won't say they definitely are until another few years have passed.  It'll take Alex and Sage four + more years of weekly 4K hiking to get the Grid, and they may change their minds between now and then.  Still, I'll facilitate this interest for as long as it holds, which may very well be until both have the Grid...but maybe they'll get bored doing the same mountains over and over again...time will tell.

Tecumseh Trail.  Around 5 miles round trip with about 2200 feet of elevation gain.

There wasn't as much snow as I thought there would be...there's been a lot of melting during the past week and a half.  What was left was usually easy to avoid.  I'll let the photos do most of the talking.

It's funny...right near the summit, there was a giant, deep mound of snow that lasted about twenty-five feet.  It was like the snow had ganged up on us, ambush-style.

Summit!  The view today was Cloud.

Sage brought her doughnut-shaped pillow.

We ate, we drank, we descended.

'Twas another nice day in the woods.  It was especially nice to have our border terrier, Max, with us again.  He doesn't like hiking in the winter, so this was his first serious hike in six months.  He seemed happy to get back on the trails.

Our hike has to be short again this Sunday, then we'll get back to longer hikes Memorial Day weekend.  See you out there!