Category Archives: Cross-country Trekkin’ - Page 2

Table Rock

On Sunday, June 7, I woke up in Dolly Copp campground to a beautiful morning. After breakfast and coffee I cleaned up camp and hit the road, this time back north.

I was headed to visit a friend from High School, Elysia, and her boyfriend. She is in a little town in New Hampshire about an hour north of Mt. Washington. We hadn’t seen each other for 9 years since high school, and when I arrived it was a welcome reunion. We chatted for a bit and shared stories of the past 9 years. Elysia suggested that we go to do a local hike in Dixville Notch, NH that she loves called Table Rock and so we were off.

The three of us piled in a car, grabbed some sandwiches for lunch at the top, and headed out. It was a short drive and then a relatively steep hike but much shorter than Imp Face I had done the day before. We were chatting the whole hike so I didn’t take out the camera until the top, but it was a pretty rewarding climb.

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First you arrive at a little “overlook” where you can see the formation called Table Rock. From here it was a slight hike back down and to the left from this vantage point, then a climb up onto the rock.

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Once you climbed up the top, you can see the drops off both side.

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This climb is right next to a place called The Balsams Resort. It looks like an old castle to me. It’s closed currently and I gather it’s a big deal in the area as it employed a large number of people in the town.

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After lunch we made the hike back down and drove a very short distance to a pull-off just below Table Rock. From here we got a good vantage point of where we had just been.

DSC01163 DSC01166Aaron and E 2015-06-07After such a rewarding hike we went back to their place and hung out. Kyle cooked an amazing dinner and Elysia taught me some beginners drums. We listened to some Piebald and kept catching up. All in all, a great visit.

In the morning I had a long drive ahead of me, so I woke up with Elysia when she needed to go to work. She brought me to a stellar breakfast spot called Mostly Muffins and I gave her a ride to work. Then I headed out to continue my journey as she headed in to work for the day.

I had a really great time hanging out with both of you, Elysia and Kyle. You put me right at home and showed me a great time and I would love to come visit again as soon as I can.  Stay in touch, stay classy.

 

Mount Washington

Note: to see the full gallery of photos from this trip, see this post.

On Friday June 5, after my visit with Ronnie and Amanda there was still some good daylight. And from the looks of it on the ground, the fog had pretty much cleared all the way at the tops of the presidential mountains, including Mount Washington. So I headed back to the Auto Road entrance and went inside to ask about taking a ride up.

The minimum load is 2 people for one of the “stages” to take a run up the mountain, so I waited for the next group to join. I sat outside and warmed in the sun, while getting a few shots from the base lodge.

DSC00848After about 20 minutes I was able to join in a group that filled one of the vans with me in the front. So we were off! The ride is about a half hour up the road with a few stops along the way. The driver did a good job with the guided tour. I was definitely interested in what he had to say, which mainly consisted of history of how the mountain formed and descriptions of what we were seeing and why. It is pretty interesting how there are different climate zones along the mountain, with the top being sub-arctic climate. In the half hour we drove about 8 miles and up 4,618 ft. As the driver spoke, I snapped a few shots.

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If you look real close in the about shot, you can see the rocky outcrop of Imp Face on the left side of the shot. I was there in the morning and it was too foggy to see anything. It would have been a great view at this point in the day.

DSC00863 DSC00906DSC00917 DSC00930 DSC00939When we made it to the top, we had an hour to walk around and check things out before we went back down. Part of that included walking the final 15 feet up to the actual summit of the mountain, marked with a path and a sign. One of the neat things at the top is that there are no trees anywhere because they can’t grow up that high. So in order to mark the hiking trails, rather than marking trees like they do lower on the path, there are piles of rock called cairns. I also found the buildings fascinating especially with the measurement equipment and the radio communications equipment.

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In this last shot, you can see both the base of the auto road where we left from, and Imp Face if you look hard enough.

Then after the hour at the top, we went back down. It was about the same time down and the driver talked about some more stuff, but really I was interested in the road itself.

DSC01128We made it! I went back to Dolly Copp to get ready for bed.

You can find the rest of the photos here.

 

 

 

Visit from the Smiths

After I made it back from my hike on Imp Face Saturday morning, Ronnie and Amanda stopped by the campground to say hi. It was crazy cool to see them for the fist time in 10 and 9 years (respectively) since High School. We grabbed a drink and some lunch and they are some pretty great people who have long tales of their own to tell about life and the journeys they’ve made. And what was the coolest, they drove all the way out just to see me. Then they had to drive back. What an amazing gesture!

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Stay cool Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I hope to catch you again sometime.

Imp Face

Note: see all the photos from the hike I discuss in this post in this post.

When I woke up in Dolly Copp, the rain had stopped and a thick fog was in the area. I decided I would drive into Gorham quickly for some cell service and to check my messages since I expected Ronnie to come and visit sometime in the day. I learned he’d be by later so I decided I’d take a hike in the morning.

The map I picked up at the ranger station showed all the hiking in the presidential ranges. I was looking for something close and relatively short so I could do it in the morning and be back to Dolly Copp by noon. I found a trail called Imp Trail up to Imp Face that was listed as 2.2 miles one-way and 3 hours out and back. It also was close to the camp ground and was listed as “One of the 10 best views in the White Mountains.” So I was sold.

It was still foggy and wet when I got to the entrance, first person of the day. When I was hiking up I got soaked. Everything was wet and if I brushed up against vegetation at all, my pants became wetter. But the trail was nice and I just accepted that I would be sweaty and wet in general. Of course, my glasses fogged up constantly as well, as did the camera lens at times.

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The trail basically follows a stream for a good portion near the bottom and then gets pretty steep for the rest of the way. There were stream crossings and rock face climbs and at one point, man-made stairs. But it was a very rewarding hike that this out-of-shape dude had to stop and rest often during.

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When I made it to the top the fog hadn’t yet cleared and that was a bit of a bummer. But even so, it was rewarding. The trail and trees opened up onto an outcrop of rocks and I could feel how open it was. It the view was clear I bet it would have been gorgeous with all of the presidential range visible.

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I bummed around the top for awhile and took some shots then made my way back down. On the way back I came across 3 groups of people who I wished each a better view than I had. And later when I was back at the campground, the fog had cleared and I took some photos of the rock outcrop, Imp Face, from the campground. It’s pretty clear that the view would be great.

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Check out the rest of the photos here.

Dolly Copp Campground

NOTE: to see the rest of the photos from Dolly Copp, see this post.

Friday morning, June 5, 2015, I drove from Johnson, VT to Gorham, NH where Mt. Washington auto road and the Dolly Copp Campground in the White Mountain National Forest are. After a beautiful drive despite the impending threat of rain, I arrived in Gorham in the early afternoon. It was foggy and I didn’t really have a view of any of the peaks. I drove past the Ranger Station and stopped to check in about the area and grab a map. Then I decided to see what the Mt. Washington Auto Road looked like. Upon arrival at the base lodge, they showed me the camera at the observatory and the view was clearly about 5 feet.

So I decided to wait until the next day for the Auto Road and checked out the campground. With 194 sites, the campground is much larger than any other National Forest campground I have been to before (10 sites max previously). It was also more expensive at $22, but once I arrived it was clear that the cost was from all the upkeep on 194 sites.

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There was no attendant at the gate when I arrived, but I had reserved a space and drove out to it. I was happy to find that was actually pretty well secluded and far back from the road. It’s always a gamble when you randomly pick a spot in an online reservation. So, I got set up.

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After I set up, I went back to the gate to check in and found the caretaker for my area. He recognized my Amateur radio license plate and we chatted about the area. Then I went back and did a quick walk on the hiking trail that starts in the camp. I didn’t want to go too far up that trail but I got a feel for what those woods looked like. Surprise, they looked like woods!

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At this point it was early evening so I went back to the camp and started some dinner. Then went to bed. And of course, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain. It was pouring down.

To see the rest of the photos from Dolly Copp, see this post.