Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spring Weekend in the Whites - 5/16 - 5/17/09

Just back from an incredible White Mountain weekend. The main attraction was definitely the Obs event on Saturday night but the rest of the weekend turned out pretty great as well.

Drove up early Saturday morning and stopped by Chocoura Lake on the way to soak in the first beautiful vista.

We stayed at Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham on Saturday night so we decided to get a hike in there on Saturday. Since we needed to be back in North Conway for the event Saturday we decided to go for a moderate one and picked Lowe's Bald Spot. First time we'd been up there are it's one of the best views for the effort that you can find. The trails were completely lined with every variety of spring flower.

Hobblebush was everywhere!

As was Painted Trillium

Not as many Red Trillium - but they were beautiful

The Trout Lillies were just beginning to open

I thought these were Wood Sorrel but realize now they're not. Help?

Bunchberries just beginning to come out

The view from Lowe's Bald Spot was incredible. The sun broke through just before we got to the top.

Lenticular over Adams and Monroe

View North up the valley

Shoulder of Mt Washington

Sunday morning I snuck in a quick hike to Lost Pond which is right across the street from PNVC

We wanted to get in one more good hike on Sunday before heading home. We decided to do the Wildcat River Loop. Got started and at the first water crossing we go stymied. Bushwhacked up and down the shore a ways and found no reasonable spot. Looks like the rain on Saturday night was more than I thought. Since we knew there were several more crossings after this one we decided to try a different option.

We headed off to Mountain Pond which is described as a nice 3 mile loop around a the pond. Hmmm. Guide said something about portnetial difficulites in spring and wet conditions. Hmmm. In short the trail was more of a continual bushwhack through soaked underbrush while climing over wet "greasy" rocks. Doesn't appear that it gets much human travel - but the moose clearly like it. We followed several sets of moose tracks the whole way around and there were fresh piles of scat every few hundred feet. As much as I would like to see a moose I was actually pretty glad that it wasn't there since it would have been pretty close quarters with the path. At the far end of the pond we got a beatiful view across to South Baldface and several other peaks. Mud, moose poop, wet soggy bushwhack over slick rocks. All in all a really nice morning walk. 

The prettiest Trillium at the end. First ones we saw growing together.

And the prettiest Hobblebush - sure hope the moose don't eat this one!

Finished the day off with a great lunch at Moat Mountain. Just a fantastic weekend. Highlight was definitely the wonderful show by Jim and Patrick. The rest was pretty great too. Only two months till Seek the Peak. Can't wait!!!

Rest of the pictures are here if you haven't had enough yet: