Tuesday, October 17, 2017

NE 100 Highest - Jay Peak and Big Jay, Vermont

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 - The New England "100 Highest" - Jay Peak and Big Jay, Vermont:

There is always "another list". Having finished with the New England 4000 Footers (67 peaks), the "next list" is the New England Highest 100 - it consists of the "next highest" 33 peaks in New England. If you have been following my blog, you know that it is a "list I will not complete" - there was NO TRAIL to Fort Mountain 2 weeks ago!

(It has a black X on the above map.) The other 4 I have done (South Brother, Mount Coe, Mount Bigelow-South Horn, and The Cannon Balls, NE Peak) are marked with red X,s, and today's peaks Jay Peak and Big Jay are in the purple circle. Today I hiked 5.4 miles in 3 hours. This is what the gps-track looks like when MapMyWalk dies, and then is revived by plugging it into my car charger:


This is what the 2.7 mile one-way hike looks like::

The return is just back down the same trail.

It was a beautiful-but-cold morning - 36º as I drove through Reading at 7:15 AM! Four hours later, even with some clouds moving in, it was a beautiful day in Vermont:

On Route 242, just down from Jay Peak in Vermont, I stopped and saw a pretty little waterfall:

The trail up to Jay Peak is lovely - looking up the trail:

and looking back down the trail:

(the leaves are all turning/have turned here in Northern Vermont.)

You don't often see stairways while hiking in the mountains:

The stairway opens onto a ski slope:

with a really nice view east:

You continue up the ski slope:

, past the ice on the tree branches:

and get to the summit of Jay Peak:

The "mile" trail over to Big Jay (sorry - "herd path") is ok:

but it still took me about 45 minutes to get through the bogs and branches to get to the summit:

AND THAT'S WHEN MY iPhone Battery DIED!!!! I figured that I didn't need an extra battery for a hike of only 6 miles, but I guess I was wrong. An extra battery will always go with me in the future (one more thing to think about).

I retraced my path back down the mountains, and I finished the hike at 3, and with a stop to pick up a pizza and gas in Concord, NH, made it home a little after 7. THANK YOU GOD for all these wonderful hiking adventures!!!

Today, it was "music" in my orange nano:

I burned a copy of the 7-cd set A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

and listened to cds 3-through-7 today, beginning with his "I Have A Dream" speech (August 28, 1963 in Washington, DC) and ending with "I've Been to the Mountaintop" (April 3, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, on the eve of his death). pretty powerful stuff, and maybe just as applicable today as it was then.

and of course I had to ROCK OUT on my way home!!

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Hurricane Relief: Houston '78, 1978

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Boston Aug. 27, 1999, 1999

I was there that night in Boston. EXCELLENT SHOW!!

Monday, October 2, 2017

NE 100 Highest - The Cannon Balls, NE Peak, New Hampshire

Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 - A New List - the New England "100 Highest" - The Cannon Balls, NE Peak, New Hampshire:

There is always "another list". Having finished with the New England 4000 Footers (67 peaks), the "next list" is the New England Highest 100 - it consists of the "next highest" 33 peaks in New England. If you have been following my blog, you know that it is a "list I will not complete" - there was NO TRAIL to Fort Mountain 2 weeks ago!

(It has a black X on the above map.) The other 3 I have done (South Brother, Mount Coe, and Mount Bigelow-South Horn) are marked with red X,s, and today's peak The Cannon Balls, NE Peak is in the purple circle. Today I hiked 8.5 miles in 5 hours:

Since Wendy was going to a conference out in Northfield, Mass., I wanted to hit the mountains! Left home at 9, got to the trailhead up in Franconia Notch at 12 noon. It was a BEAUTIFUL day in New England:

Lafayette Campground, looking northeast with Mount Lafayette in the distance.

After hiking the very difficult trails of Maine, it was a pleasure being able to hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire:

1.2 miles up the trail, you get to the east end of Lonesome Lake, which was beautiful today:

Continuing on Lonesome Lake Trail 0.2 miles around the right end of the lake, then the trail goes up to Kinsman Ridge Trail. There are some nice views along Kinsman Ridge Trail:

but the (very nice) trail was almost always in the trees:

It's pretty cool being up here.

The Trail hits all 3 Cannon Balls - NE Peak, Middle and West. Unfortunately, there are no indicators for the summits of Middle or West; NE Peak has a cairn:

Although the weather was clear, clean and perfect (not too hot, not too cold), it is obvious that there is A LOT OF MOISTURE UP HERE. Moss is thick and lush:

The Kinsman Ridge Trail is 2.4 miles, and then you take a sharp left to head back down Fishin' Jimmy Trail:

Fishin' Jimmy Trail is actually part of the Appalachian Trail, so it is nice seeing the AT's white blazes:

2 miles down the trail (kind of slow and tricky - I think Fishin' Jimmy was drunk when he made up this trail), and you get to the south end of Lonesome Lake:

I finished the hike at 5:05:

and made it home by 7:30

Because I am jaded from "hiking 4000 footers", today's hike was harder than I expected. Wendy pointed out that although they are not 4000 feet, today's main peak is 3769 feet - still a pretty big climb. So, I'm still doing "mountain climbing". THANK YOU GOD for all these wonderful hiking adventures!!!

Today, it was some "new" music in my orange nano:

I have discovered some new music/new recordings on the John Wick soundtracks (2014 & 2017)

Ciscandra Nostalghia, and Candy Shop Boys

various artists - Where Music Meets Film, 1999

Acoustic highlights from the Sundance Film Festival's after-hours live shows.

Frank Sinatra - The Main Event – Live, 1974

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Hurricane Relief: Houston '78, 1978

Untethered from the Darkness box set to benefit this year's MusiCares® Hurricane Relief Fund, Houston ’78 captures the final leg of the Darkness tour in all its glory. Bruce, the E Street band, Sony Music and nugs.net will donate all their proceeds to the hurricane relief effort.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Maine #14 (North Brother), plus South Brother and Mount Coe

Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 - MY LAST 4000 FOOTER IN NEW ENGLAND - North Brother:

I hiked 12.77 miles from 8:15 to 4:08 (a little less than 8 hours). The REALLY SLOW parts were 1) going up the ROCK FACE for Mount Coe, 2) going up the summit trail for North Brother, and 3) scrambling around the backside of North Brother, trying to bushwack over to Fort Mountain.

Once again, Up and at 'em at 5:15 - hot shower and GREAT BREAKFAST at the The Appalachian Trail Café, and then north to the Park. Even though I did not have any time deadlines (or reservation costs - parking at Marston Trail trailhead/Slide Dam Picnic Area is FREE!), I got to the gate a little after 7. Another hour on a dirt road (alongside beautiful Tracy Pond

and Nesowadnehunk Stream

got me to the trailhead, and hiking at 8:15 AM. As you can see above, MapMyWalk DID WORK)

I had a nice chat with a couple of guys in the parking lot, and they started before me (but I caught up to them by 9, on the nicest hiking trail I have been on in Maine):

After 1.3 miles on Marston Trail, I took a right on Mt Coe Trail. It is also a very nice trail, and follows a lovely stream:

Although the sky was clear (once the fog burned off), it started out COLD (40º) at the trailhead! So I wore my green t-shirt plus my NEW medium-size long-sleeve pullover - a gift from Shannon (my STEP instructor at the MAC) and her boyfriend, who are making these new anti-mosquito shirts (see the website for NoBu.gs™). It was very light, and must have worked because while I had it on, I was never bothered by flying insects:

To quote their website: NoBu.gs™ is an innovative line of apparel and gear that has been functionally enhanced with insect repellent.

I didn't get why all the guidebooks (and even the Ranger at the Park Entrance) said "Do the Loop COUNTERCLOCKWISE!". Then I came upon The Slide - it is best viewed in Google Earth, with Mount Coe at the top:

I don't know why MapMyWalk didn't pick up greater detail - I did some zig-zagging up this rock face.

So this is my photo looking straight down The Slide:

And now we know why they want me to go up it, and not down - going down is Very Dangerous!

10:30 at the top of Mount Coe:

- north to South Brother and North Brother:

- northeast into The Klondike:

- east to Mount Katahdin:

- south to Mount O-J-I and Kidney Pond:

- west looking down the valley I just hiked up through:

NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY, and stripped down to shorts and a t-shirt!

A nice hour-hike over to (and up the side trail to) South Brother:

The trail from South Brother to North Brother:

is actually 2 parts. A nice walk-in-the-woods:

for about a mile; but then you get "killer vertical" for 0.4 mile:

You know SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG when they paint the blue-trail-blaze on the UNDERSIDE of an OVERHANGING ROCK!!

Broke above the treeline:

for my final ascent to North Brother:

#14-of-14 in Maine/#67-of-67 4000 Footers in New England!!

I felt pretty cool - but here is a 45-year old mom and her 13-year old daughter - it was their #67 ALSO!!!!

So, aren't you just SOOOO SPECIAL, MR. DENNIS C DIXON!!!!

It is 1 in the afternoon, and the view northeast to Fort Mountain looks pretty nice:

At 3867 feet, Fort Mountain is not one of the New England 4000 footers, but it is #80 on the list of New England 100 Highest (there's ALAWAYS ANOTHER LIST!!).

The only problem is THERE IS NO TRAIL (well, maybe a "herd path"). The girl and her mom headed off to it, and I said I would catch up - this is as far as I got:

I only made it a 1/4 of a mile before I realized it was a really stupid idea to try to follow a 6-inch wide path through overgrown Maine Mountain pine trees that are ripping and clawing at your skin. Call me when they put in a TRAIL.

So back down the mountain, and down Marston Trail to a nice lookout over Teardrop Pond (at 2:40 PM):

30 minutes later I was down at the Pond, with its gnarly trees:

About 1.5 miles from the trailhead - as I said, the nicest trail I have hiked in Maine! Looking downhill:

and looking back uphill:

Finished at 4:08, hit the "road" at 4:15, home in Manchester by 10:30. THANK YOU GOD for all these wonderful hiking adventures!!!

Today, it was more music from my purple nano:

Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet, 1959

Tom Rush - Wrong End of the Rainbow, 1970

Coldplay - X&Y, 2005

Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, 1973

I think this is my favorite Bruce album!

Yes - Yessongs, 1973 live triple-album

At that time, triple albums were very rare - I can only remember 2 others: Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More (released 1970), and George Harrison All Things Must Pass (also released 1970).

The Steve Miller Band - Your Saving Grace, 1969