ay two of our Columbus Weekend stay in the Whites promised to be a perfect day. After arriving on Friday we got a couple of invitations to join the VFTT dog hike on Moosilauke on Saturday and we jumped at the chance to meet some of the familiar faces from the forums and spend a great day on a great mountain with the dogs.
We had done Moosilauke for the first time early last November on a sunny, blue, warm and windless day. (I know, not the usual fall conditions - or even summer for that matter). We did that on by Gorge Brook and this one was up the Benton Trail so while it was the same mountain it was a really different (and really nice) hike. Several people asked us about our choice to pass up another checkmark or two on our 4k list for this hike. One thing for sure, I'll never trade a great day in the mountains with good friends for a checkmark!
Since Kevin already posted such a great account of the day I don't need to repeat that part (see the Dog-i-lauke TR). I'll just say that this was a great day with great folks and a perfect way to spend an amazing fall day. I will add my version of the images of the hike to complement the excellent ones Kevin already provided.
The drive up through Crawford Notch, Bethlehem and down through Franconia was beautiful on Saturday morning (as well as on the way back in the afternoon). No leaf peeper traffic and some really spectacular sights. We knew that this was going to be a good day when we saw our first moose shortly after leaving the hotel in Crawford Notch. Pretty amazing that we haven't seen one before now with all the time we've spent in ME and NH over the years. Good omen for things ahead.
Morning light in Crawford Notch
One of the locals...
The dogs are getting warmed up
Nat and Val pushing through the wind to the summit
Behold, the power of cheese!
Beautiful views breaking in Tunnel Ravine on the way down
Already planning the next hikes
Hidden gem along Rt 16 in Franconia on the way back
Lots more pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42/MtMoosilaukeDogHike10910#