Carter-Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, 19 Mile Brook Trail. 15 mile traverse.
Something wonderful happened at the AMC Awards Ceremony last April -- a girl Alex's age received a certificate for hiking the 4000 Footers. At the end of the evening, I lept over a few people in order to meet the family before they left the building. Thankfully, I caught them before they even set foot in the aisle (my apologies to the folks I ran over). Amanda was the girl's name; she finished two weeks before turning seven. Randall was the hiking parent who accompanied her. Randall and I had a good conversation that evening which led to a Facebook friendship. We've been in contact ever since.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of joining Randall, Amanda, and her brother Gabriel on a hike over Moriah and the Carters. We met at the 19 Mile Brook Trail parking lot for a car spot; I parked my Honda and the girls, Max, and I piled into Randall's vehicle.
Randall and his clan wanted to ascend Mt. Moriah via the Rattle River Trail, since they're hiking the AT in sections and hadn't yet set foot on that stretch. They dropped the girls and I off at the Carter Moriah Trail and agreed to meet us at the summit.
The hike up was very, very difficult for me due to the weight of my pack. I was carrying for three, which is something I've never done before. Alex and Sage carried as much as I thought they should, but I still carried the bulk of supplies and all the overnight gear. At least the scenery was pretty...
The wild blueberries weren't so bad either...
Once past Mt. Surprise, the trail became steep in parts. Ordinarily, such stretches don't bother me, but they certainly did this time around. I think I've found my limit in pack weight.
Hmm...perhaps the bog bridges should be replaced?
Randall, Amanda, Gabriel, and Mr. Beefy (their English bulldog) were already there and had been waiting for a while. Unfortunately, I had taken approximately three days to ascend. That's what happens when you move like an overburdened snail.
Once up top, I dumped my pack and took pictures of the happy chaos.
Sage's 27th 4K!
After everyone was rested, fed, and watered, we moved on toward Imp Campground.
Kids, puppies, and views.
We arrived at Imp Campground around 2:30. Randall and his kids took the shelter while the girls and I took a tent platform.
View from the outlook near the shelter...
Our families then spent a couple of hours enjoying each other's company. The kids played games in the shelter while Randall and I talked. Max and Mr. Beefy expressed their affection for one another...
...until Mr. Beefy decided to take a nap.
Sunset at the Imp Shelter outlook...
We hiked out the next morning under a beautiful blue sky. Unfortunately, the puppies made it impossible for our group to hike together. Randall kept Mr. Beefy in front, but it did no good; Max continually whined and howled and complained about not being allowed to hang out with the Beef. I would have let him if the dogs would actually hike together. However, their puppiness worked against us; when close together, all they wanted to do was lick each other in the face. This behavior was cute at the campground, but it was decidedly inconvenient on the trail. The solution was for Randall, his kids, and Mr. Beefy to hike ten minutes ahead of us and wait at each summit.
Heading toward North Carter...
Steep section that gave me some trouble...
One of the following is North Carter's summit...
We caught up with the others at a nearby outlook and enjoyed the views...
...then we headed toward Middle Carter.
Close-up of Mt. Washington through the trees...
Sage's 28th 4K!
Heading toward South Carter. Again, Randall and his kids went ahead.
Sage's 29th 4K!
The kids playing at Zeta Pass...
Sage built a cairn thing...
The hike out was nice; Max finally calmed down enough for the kids to keep together.
This was a lovely hike in terms of company. Randall, Amanda, and Gabriel are good people and I hope we can spend some more time with them in the future. It was also nice to meet the many others we saw on the trail, including a nice fellow named Andy and a man who's finishing up his first round of the 4Ks. In terms of comfort, however, this hike was difficult. My pack was far too heavy, but I can't think of anything I should have left behind. The only solution is to wait until Alex is old enough to carry most of her own gear before taking both kids on another overnight which requires a tent and sleeping bags.
Hope everyone out there is enjoying the summer. Before you know it, it'll be fall (and we'll be out west at higher altitude).
Happy hiking, folks.
- UP: REVIEWS and PRESS
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- Alex in the White Mountains (Alex's hiking blog)
- Sage's White Mountain Treks (Sage's hiking blog)
- California's Lost Coast Trail. June 8-9, 2019
- England's Coast to Coast Trail 2018
- Cohos Trail 2017
- Iceland's Laugavegur Trail 2016
- Great Wall of China Trek 2015
- John Muir Trail 2014
- El Camino de Santiago 2013
- NH Four Thousand Footers (Alex and Sage)
- NH Four Thousand Footers -- WINTER (Alex and Sage)
- Trailwrights 72 (Alex and Sage)
- 52 With a View (Sage)
- The White Mountain Grid