Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My 27th (Mount Cabot) 4,000 footer!

It was a beautiful day for a hike in New Hampshire!

I sold my Natural Gas Honda Civic in December - natural gas prices have stayed constant at $2.50/gallon, while gasoline prices have gone from $3.80/gallon down to $2/gallon, and are now up to $2.65. So the fuel costs no longer benefit the CNG car; also, I was always concerned about "fueling logistics", and now I have no worries (there are gasoline stations EVERYWHERE!), which is A LOT BETTER!

To celebrate my freedom-of-the-road, I decided to start my 2015 hikes with the 4,000 footer farthest away - Mount Cabot (in the red circle)

Go up 95 from Manchester-by-the-Sea, then up 16 to North Conway, then west on 302, then left (west) on Sawyer River Road for 2 miles

The reports I read said that the Berlin Hatchery closed their gate at 4 PM, so I parked right outside it. It was paved for one mile, so I was able to roller-blade that 1st mile. Put the blades behind a tree, put on my boots, and started at 1:20 PM. The 1st mile with Map My Walk was flat - to the Unknown Pond Trail; I went up Unknown Pond Trail (3.5 miles) to get to Unknown Pond, then southwest on the Kilkenny Trail to get to The Horn (1.7 + 0.3 miles), then The Bulge (0.6 miles), then the Mt Cabot summit (4170 ft)(0.8 miles). I then continued along the Kilkenny Trail for 2.0 miles before being able to turn east down the Bunnell Notch Trail (3.0 miles), then a final 1 mile hike back to my rollerblades at 7:40 PM. With twists and turns and overlooks, I covered 14.0 miles in 6 hours 20 minutes. I covered about 5,200 feet in climbing elevation (2600 up and back down):

My iPhone power died right at Mile 10, but at that point I was at the top of Bunnell Notch Trail - 3 miles to the road, then hike to the blades. In the future, turn off whatever is trying to "access the cloud".

It was a BEAUTIFUL day in New Hampshire, with temperatures in the mid-60s (this is on the road to the trail!)

Unknown Pond Trail goes up alongside "the brook that drains Unknown Pond" (and crosses it a few times)

Unknown Pond is just BEAUTIFUL

and that's either Mt. Cabot or The Horn in the background

I love the birch and moss-covered rocks!

The USGS mark for the top of The Horn

And the views from The Horn:

up to The Bulge, then Mount Cabot. I didn't find a sign, but I did find a cairn:

First Trip this year - I forgot my bug spray (didn't need it) and MY SIGN!!! Oh well, I'll remember next week.

Going down, there are some nice views

and the last picture I got was right at the top of Bunnell Notch Trail

looking back (west) at the trail I just came down!

Bunnell Notch Trail can be divided into 3 parts (3 miles long) - the top/1st part is one of the hardest trails I have ever hiked! Roots and muck and uneven/irregular stones and lots of little turns - you CANNOT get any speed, and you have to take it carefully. The middle part is easier, but you still need to pay attention; and the bottom part is an old logging road that just seems to go on forever (or maybe I had just had enough for today ...)

At 14 miles (12 miles on the mountain), I think maybe I overdid it a little, at least for the first hike of the season. It's ok - we should "overdo it" once in a while, and it does give you a nice sense of accomplishment as the days fade away. 4 hours to get dinner and get home - What A Day! Thank you God!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 (left at 7:40 AM, home at 11:40 PM)
185 miles -- Manchester-by-the-Sea to Salem (Excel Recycling), then up 95 North, then all the way up 16 to Berlin, then northwest on 110, then left (southwest) on York Pond Road for 5 miles (5 1/2 hours with traffic and road construction)
14 miles -- hiking (6 hours 20 minutes)
4 hours -- to get home

I listened to F albums today:

"Fate Of Nations" by Robert Plant, 1993
"Fearless" by Taylor Swift, 2008
"Feeding Frenzy" live album by Jimmy Buffett, 1990
"Femme Fatale" by Britney Spears, 2011
(an awful album, but the first song sounds like a very good dance song: Till the World Ends)
"Feng Shui" by Q-Burns Abstract Message, 1998
"Fictionary" by Lyle Mays, 1993 (a good jazz album by the Pat Metheny Group keyboard player)
"Field Report EP" by Field Report, 2012
"The Fillmore Concerts" (2 cds) by The Allman Brothers Band, 1992 release of their 1971 concerts (expanded version of "At Fillmore East")

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