“Careful, we don’t really need a drink now, do we? Gotta pay more attention.”
Stan stood shivering with delayed reaction as he watched the raging river flow by just below his feet. A week of unusually warm temperatures and pouring rain had melted most of the remaining snow creating a torrent in place of the usual babbling stream.
“They don’t call it ‘mud season’ for nothing,” Stan said out loud as his attention was drawn to the slick spot that had almost tipped him into the rushing water. The bank had eroded into the river taking a good chunk of the path with it. The mud around the cave-in made this collapse doubly dangerous. He’d only just caught his balance in time, his momentum carrying him to the edge of the void.
The reaction of his near fall had shaken him more than he cared to admit so he stood watching the water, waiting until his nerves had settled down. Mount Nodbadigat, which appeared to rise directly out of the river, caught his attention. He had seen this small mountain a thousand times but never noticed its unique shape. It looked like something but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. Trying to puzzle it out he unconsciously took his jacket off and tied it around his waist. Feeling calmer, Stan shrugged his shoulders and turned down the path away from the river and mountain.
The conditions were perfect for an early spring hike. Technically it would still be winter for a few more days, but how often does New Hampshire see 70 degree weather in the middle of March? Stan had played hooky from work to get out and walk off some of his cabin fever. He loved to see the seasons change and it wasn’t often he got a chance to walk in Nodbadigat State Park quite this early. He was glad he did, for it was beautiful, a monochromatic masterpiece built largely of browns and grays. The pines supplied splashes of green, but it was a dark green that tended almost to black in the distance. Many of the trees were beginning to bud and some shoots were sprouting, all of which added spice and accents to the stark and dramatic play of dark trunks and golden sunlight.
If you follow my blog you have most likely seen quite a few photos from Cape Cod, though I have been awful about them lately – I have several thousand photos going back to June that I haven’t even looked at! I don’t however, post many photos of the natural beauty of New Hampshire.
On Saturday I decided to get out of the house for more than just a long dog walk. There is a trail close to my house that goes by three waterfalls. the trailhead is a five minute drive, and the closest fall, Lower Purgatory Falls, is about a 10 minute easy hike from the trailhead. I have written about the falls a few times – my favorite is here (click if you want to see some of my best waterfall photos ;) ). Saturday was cold and a storm was threatening, but it was worth it! I only went about 15 or 20 minutes beyond the Lower Falls, but it was still a nice small hike (between 30 and 45 minutes). Continue reading →
There are several nice little hikes close to my (New Hampshire) house. I’m talking within 2 or 3 miles (under 5 km). There are some more mountainous hikes within 10 miles (15 km). I don’t take advantage of these trails as much as I used to or as much as I should. I’m going to try to change that…
One of them is a trail up Purgatory Brook (Milford and Mt. Vernon, NH) that hits three larger (not huge) waterfalls and a handful of smaller falls, including, in the wet weather, a stream that cascades down the steep valley into the brook. This is a very pretty hike. Last autumn I rediscovered it when my brother came to visit. I used photos of the hike in several posts, including this one. In early February I did another short hike (not seeing the upper two waterfalls) and posted about it here.
A little over a week ago I revisited it. One of the reasons I wanted to go was that I had just picked up a new camera and wanted to field test it. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago I did a short hike near my house in New Hampshire. The trail follows Purgatory Brook and goes by all three waterfalls, but I only stopped at the first. It was relatively warm day, but the path was icy in spots. For the most part, though it was a great hike.
One special thing about the hike was that I brought my camera and the new lens. The bad thing is that I had forgotten to change the battery so it continued to flash at me that I was losing power. I still took a few pictures, most of the ice covered waterfall, Lower Purgatory Falls. Continue reading →
I know I’ve talked it about it quite a bit and even had posts about it, but just in case you didn’t know, I went hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains exactly a month ago, on November 19. In fact, my Weekly Smile for week 47was a write up about the hike. Look at it for details. OK, here’s a short excerpt:
We got up bright and early (or actually still very dark and early) Saturday morning and drove up to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Specifically we went up to the Franconia Notch area and did the loop around Mt. Lafayette. The loop is about 8.9 miles (14.3 km). The top of Lafayette is around 3000 feet (915 m) above the trail head and the total climb (since there are several peaks in the loop) is about 3900 feet (1190 m). It is not an easy trail, but it is a fun one.
I also posted about the fall I took while hiking. I am still not 100% recovered. The worse of it was past in a week or two, so a month out I’m fine, but there are still times I can tell I injured myself. Continue reading →
I paused, looking down at the damp piece of granite. It wasn’t the stone itself, or its worth as a foothold, that gave me pause, it was the large drop just past it. When it comes to heights, I’m not much of a risk taker. Some may snicker at that statement seeing the extreme places I’ve skied or hiked, but for the most part, if there is a large, sudden drop, I tend to stay away from the edge unless I am guaranteed a good handhold and better foothold (or am on skis ;) ). This drop looked huge, but it was the best path and the foothold looked solid. Continue reading →
If you’ve been reading my blog at all over the last few days I’m sure you realized that my brother came up from Philadelphia to go hiking. I had a few posts about our short hike(s) on a trail that is just a few miles from my house. I haven’t said much about Saturday. That’s about to change :)
We got up bright and early (or actually still very dark and early) Saturday morning and drove up to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Specifically we went up to the Franconia Notch area and did the loop around Mt. Layfayette. The loop is about 8.9 miles (14.3 km). The top of Lafayette is around 3000 feet (915 m) above the trail head and the total climb (since there are several peaks in the loop) is about 3900 feet (1190 m). It is not an easy trail, but it is a fun one.
Second view of Lafayette – that’s still a couple of thousand feet up there! (The mountain to the right is Mt. Lincoln – it is smaller, but closer so looks bigger).
I used to hike Mount Monadnock all of the time (Google it). After the first couple of times up I changed my route so that I would take long arcing hikes that would totally skip the summit. I would get close and there were always places to take in the view, but I saw no reason to go to the top.
On more than one occasion I had people ask me why I didn’t go all of the way to the top. If you don’t go to the summit, what’s the point? Where is the destination? I had people tell me they hated hiking without an objective.
To me hiking was the point, spending time outside communing with nature was the objective. It was the journey, not the destination that was important. Continue reading →