Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Calm Green Mountains….


With Irene hovering off the Atlantic coast and us with the cautious watchful eye to see what ultimate path she will take we decided that Friday was a good day for a nice hike. The plan was to travel over to Pinkham Notch in the Green Mountains which serves as a central trailhead for this National Forest. The Appalachian Trail also come through here.


We had originally planned on hiking the trail to the top of Mt Washington while we were here but with the weather taking away a couple of days of sunshine we had to modify our hiking plans. Mt Washington is the tallest peak in New Hampshire and has the reputation of being "Home of the world's worst weather."

2011-08-24-New-Hampshire-Park-013_thAt 6,288 feet this mountain is one of the few in the east that will make you think you are out west. So Friday morning we woke up and looked up the weather on top of Mt. Washington. Can you believe the winds on top were blowing at 40+ miles per hour with a wind chill of 37.4 F? So we decided to hike only half the trial to the top to a hut with a lake nearby.

The trail we chose is called Tuckerman’s Ravine trail. The trail goes all the way to the top of the mountain 2011-08-24-New-Hampshire-Park-012_thand is about 8.4 miles round trip and you will gain 4,300 feet, a fairly difficult hike. Estimated to take 6.5 hours we planned to only hike about half of it. The hike starts off at fairly gentle climb with good trail conditions but this doesn’t last too long. Before long the trail goes from nice to tortuous with large round loose rocks scattered along the trail. The trail resembles a riverbed more than a trail…

The combination of loose rock, wet conditions and the slope of the trail itself make for very strenuous climbing. Along the way we came across a nicely constructed spur to a gorgeous 100 foot or more waterfall. This majestic falls would be the highlight of the trip up the mountain this day.

IMAG0424We hike along the trail at a slow pace and the trail began to take a toll on us as we were ill prepared for this type of trail. Our tennis shoes were not what was called for for this type of hiking and without walking sticks it was fairly hazardous. So after a couple of miles we decided it best to turn back.

We were probably within a half mile of our target anyhow and the trail was getting worse not better. Shortly after we decided to turn back Sharon slipped and fell… fortunately she only sprained her thumb but it could have been worse. We take note of this and will be more prepared with better footwear before tackling this sort of trial in the future.

IMAG0421So a slow steep two mile decent and we were back at the car. Later that evening we went out in search of the elusive great Northern Moose. There is a road here in northern New Hampshire where sightings of moose are fairly common so we decided to give it a try. After driving about 50 miles along the Androscoggin River on Route 16 we were treated to many scenic vistas and a nice sun set but we saw no moose. We did however, get to see a bald eagle, common loon, osprey and a falcon along with some beautiful country side.

This day was filled with many failures… failure to complete our planned hike and failure to see a  moose and failure to stay healthy. But as has been said by many others before us…

…a bad day of RV’ing is still better than a good day of work!!! Hopefully we will have the same to say after Irene passes…


  1. I really love New Hampshire. We've spent a week every summer at Lake Winnipesaukee, and done the 'moose tour'. There are so many nice things to do up there. Mt Washington is cool!

  2. You got some fresh air and exercise, saw some scenic country, and at least did not see a moose like we did. We somehow got between a cow and her calf on a back country road, she did not like our car being there, a scary meeting, June 25th, 2008

  3. We love that area of NH. Some days are just like that? I admire you even trying that climb. We drove up Mt. Washington and that was enough excitement for me. Amazed at how cold and windy it became at the top.

    Hope Sharon's thumb causes no problem and is fine by now.

  4. I didn't know it would be that cold on top of the mountain this time of year. You didn't fail...think of you succeeded in...seeing God's beautiful country, lots of exercise, making tons of memories, being together. Your day was actually very successful!

  5. We just decided to move our hiking boots to the back of the truck after doing our recent hike in sneakers and finding lots of loose rock on the trail.

  6. Beautiful waterfall, that sounds like quite a strenuous hike, even if you only did half of it. Sorry about Sharon's thumb, I sprained my little toe and it took forever to heal, it swelled, so I kept hitting it. Wrap your thumb and protect it, and it will heal faster. Thank goodness nothing else was hurt.
    And I agree, it was definitely a successful day.

  7. Sorry Sharon hurt her thumb - hope the pain isn't too bad. We are getting quite a rain shower today in Florida - might be left over from Irene. Hope she misses you.

  8. We have noticed that trails in the East are much more strenuous than in the West. And they don't seem to believe in switchbacks. Hope Sharon's thumb is better soon.

  9. You will see a moose when you least expect it. Hopefully it will not be on the road.

  10. We took a different trail to the top and it is definitely a strenous trail to do, especially without hiking boots. To do the trail round trip was 7.5 hours and that was with little stopping as we wanted to get back to Whiskey, who we left in the motorhome. That was back in July and even then when we were at the top we had mitts, coats and hats on, the winds were about 35-40/mph then. Looks like a beautiful waterfall that you got to see along the way. Hope Sharons thumb is feeling better. We didn't see any moose either so don't feel too bad.

    Kevin and Ruth