Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Solo Hike of Moosilauke, 7/10/2018

Sage posted about our short hike of Table Rock (on the Terrifying 25).  The ascent was very steep but brief.  In only three tenths of a mile, we were at the top.  The views from the top were gorgeous!  We took a longer route on the way down.  Check out her blog post here.

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Gorge Brook trail
7.4 miles round-trip
2,550 feet of elevation gain

Sage solo hiked for the first time on this day.  She did a wonderful job!  Since it was her first time hiking alone, I started solo hiking first.  Then, about 18 minutes later, Sage began her ascent.  Lastly, Mom began climbing Moosilauke after waiting another 18 minutes.  This way, it was a little safer than Sage being on a mountain completely on her own.

Gorge Brook is nice, because the trail is very wide; I didn't end up breaking that many spiderwebs.

Mom took a picture of me at the trailhead before I continued on my own.  I apologize about the picture being so tiny!  I do not know why that happened.

Photo taken by Trish Herr

There was a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, as well as a chance of rain at 9:00 am, so we started early.

I stayed on Gorge Brook the whole time.

I arrived at the halfway point.  After this, the trail turned to the right for a while and got steeper.

I was happy when I saw the first views of the day.

There was a pretty pink glow outlining the faraway mountains.

Up I went...

I got above treeline with an adventurous spirit.

I could see the summit...

 I was excited to be at the top!  There were beautiful 360-degree views all around me.  I didn't see any clouds that appeared to be threatening.  Also, I Gridded out Moosilauke!  I no longer need to hike this mountain anymore to further my Grid progress.

Resting in one of the rock structures...

I used the Instagram space filter for this image.  I think it turned out well!

After about 15 minutes, Sage appeared on the summit.  I took some silhouette pictures of her.

Sage and I talked for a bit, and 15 minutes after Sage appeared on the summit, Mom came.

Photo taken by Trish Herr

I began to head back down the mountain.

I took a Panoramic image of my surroundings.

I had a nice time hiking down Moosilauke.  When I arrived at the Ravine Lodge, I waited for Sage and Mom.  Sage arrived around 22 minutes after I got there, and then Mom got there around 30 minutes after Sage came.

I will be away until late August, so I won't have a chance to post anything until after I get back.  I hope everyone has a great rest of the summer!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Solo Hike of Madison, 7/1/2018

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Valley Way, Osgood Trail
8.4 miles round-trip
4,100 feet of elevation gain

I did a solo hike of Madison on July 1st.  I was prepared for an especially hot day; I wore a T-shirt and shorts, and I put my hair up in a ponytail.  This time I solo hiked, it was different; Mom and Sage were not hiking that day, so neither of them were on the mountain.  The sun had already risen when I started my hike, and there were many cars in the parking lot (I was not surprised since it was a summer Sunday).

Mom took a picture of me at the trailhead.  After that, I didn't see her for another 4 hours and 45 minutes.

There were people on the trail ahead of me, so I didn't run into any spiderwebs!

Up I go...

After hiking up Valley Way, I was grateful to arrive at Madison Springs Hut and feel strong, cool wind.

Madison Springs Hut...

After grabbing a small snack at the hut and dropping off my pack and poles, I took a Nalgene water bottle, my phone, a jacket, and a map and compass (just in case), and headed up Madison.

As I continued hiking to the summit, the sky became cloudy and fog surrounded me.

I got to the summit of Madison!  The top was surrounded by clouds, so I had absolutely no views.  The cool wind felt amazing, though.  I never ended up needing to wear my jacket.

As I came down, the clouds briefly dispersed before surrounding everything once again.  

Once I came back down to the hut, I filled up my water bottles and started heading down.

Sunlight shining through green foliage...

I noticed a squirrel on a tree.  It stayed like it is in the picture for a while and then jumped to another tree to fuss at me.

When I arrived at the trailhead, Mom was there waiting there for me.  Before driving back home, she gave me my first driving lesson; I am 15 and a half now, which means I can start learning how to drive by New Hampshire state rules.  It was exciting!  I am looking forward to driving more.

Happy July!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Hancocks (June 6, 2018) and the Kinsmans (June 11, 2018)

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Hancock Notch, Cedar Brook, and Hancock Loop trails
9.8 miles
2,650 feet of elevation gain

Now that our schoolwork has ended for the year (for the most part), Sage and I can afford to start our hikes a little later in the day.  Therefore, we began when the sun had already risen.

Trailhead picture!

Photo by Trish Herr

I am always amazed at how beautiful the sky looks with the cloud formations, as well as with the gradient from dark blue to light blue, ending at the horizon.

The trail is flat for a while on this hike, which makes it feel easier than most of the other mountains we climb.  It also gives me time to settle into hiking mode.

Water crossing...

The light shone through the trees.

Another water crossing...


Another intersection...

After the last intersection, the trail began to steepen a bit.

We were excited to reach the summit of North Hancock!  It was a cloudy day though, so we could not see any views through the short trees.

We had a snack and drank replenishing liquids before moving on.

Photo by Trish Herr


Time seemed to fly between the summits.  We got to South Hancock feeling good, and we casually rested before heading down.

The light flooded through the thin trees.

Peanut butter M&M'S: my favorite kind...

Photo by Trish Herr
We went back down the mountain feeling content.

Lonesome Lake, Cascade Brook, Fishin' Jimmy, Kinsman Ridge, Basin Cascades, Cascade Brook, and Kinsman Pond trails
11.0 miles
Around 3,500 feet of elevation gain

It was slightly cool when I got out of the car, so Sage and I both decided to start off wearing our hats.  I swear we were not trying to look identical, but in the trailhead picture below, it may seem like we tried to dress in the same clothing.  We both happened to be wearing blue jackets (the same shade), blue UCS shirts (well, that was purposeful), blue-ish hats, and mostly black pants.  How did this happen?

Although the Basin isn't technically part of the trail, I took pictures of it anyway; it is a pretty sight to see.

Trailhead with Basin-Cascade Trail...

There is sand spread over this small patch of the path.

The trail has a gradual incline at first.

Decent-sized water crossing...

The sunlight coming through the foliage made the trees shine a radiant light green.


Intersection with Kinsman Pond Trail...

Up we go...

Many long and dark shadows covered the trail.

It was lovely to see the blue, shimmering lake through the trees.

It was a gorgeous day.



Here it looks like the pond is half brown/green and half blue.

Hiking toward the light...

For some reason, I was quite hungry when we arrived at the Kinsman Pond Campsite, so we grabbed a couple handfuls of Chex Mix and rested at the shelter before continuing on to North Kinsman. 

Enjoying the warm sunlight...

Sage and I taking a breather...


I was happy to see some views...

We got to the summit of North Kinsman!  Below is a picture of the summit rock:

The faraway mountains emanated a soft blue glow.

After drinking some water at North Kinsman, we kept hiking.

Up, up, up...


Not too long now...

I got this cut on Saturday, and I keep accidentally reopening it...oh well.

We got up to the summit of South Kinsman.  We were rewarded with gorgeous 360 degree views, food from our backpacks, and the knowledge that we were basically finished going up for the day.

Summit photo!

I took a Pano with my iPhone:

Feeling cheery...

There was that blue gradient again...

Donuts are the best, especially when hiking! 

After relaxing a bit, we packed up and left the top.


We stopped by Lonesome Lake Hut (adding three tenths of a mile to our hike).

Lonesome Lake looked clear in the afternoon light.

Heading back down...

Tired, happy hikers!

While walking back to our car, I looked up and noticed the shining green foliage above me.


We were lucky to have such beautiful and perfect weather on one of our hiking days.