Blue North and Blue West

Hiked Blue North and Blue West on 10/27/2017 with Bill Schor, Bill Cronin and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to have a chance of showers before 8AM and then becoming bright and sunny. That was pretty much what happened. These 2 peaks are located off Rt 3 in North Stratford, NH. We could have driven to within a half mile of Blue North but there was a locked gate and we had to walk 3.5 miles on the road instead. We reached the height of land and found an ATV trail that headed toward the summit so we followed that for a while until it ended and then followed a herd path that took us to the summit. A pretty easy hike.

Height of land on the road

It was cold and windy on the summit so we didn’t hang around long. The temperature was 35 but the sun was trying to make an appearance.

The viewless summit

We headed down and then over to Blue West. There were some brief views that we found on the way down.

View to the southeast

We followed the road down for about a half mile and then turned onto a road that headed in the right direction and then to another road that took us to within a mile of the summit. Hunger took over and we ate our PBJs  before we left the road and headed to the summit.

Waiting for me to catch up
A lone piece of color
Birch tree

We headed up a fairly steep slope and then circled around a bump to get to the summit.

Waterfall in the woods.

There was lots of water in the woods after the recent rains that made for some squishy walking. The moss was all greened up and it was slippery in many places. We made it to the summit and found the register and signed in.

Summit canister on Blue West

We set a bearing back to the road and headed down. We still had to walk over a mile back to the car. Only 8 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Track for Blue North and West
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West Magalloway and Diamond Ridge

Hiked West Magalloway and Diamond Ridge on 10/23/2017 with Bill Cronin and Bill Schor. Weather was again cool in the morning and 70s in the afternoon. This was the third and final day of our New Hampshire 200 Highest hiking extravaganza. Driving to the trailhead we finally saw a moose, it was a young bull with very small and barely visible antlers. He was lucky we weren’t hunters as this was part of the one week moose hunting season in New Hampshire.

Our only moose sighting

We drove to the trailhead for Magalloway as the two Bills needed that so I stayed in the car read the 7 day library book that was due back the next day. I had hiked Magalloway back when I was redlining trails in the area. They returned to the car and we drove a short distance down the road to start the bushwhack to West Magalloway.

West Magalloway

The bushwhack was only three tenths of a mile and was through mostly open woods. What a relief after yesterdays fiasco on South Deer. We reached the summit and had some views which was also very nice.

The summit canister
View to the east with some valley fog
View to the west and Diamond Ridge our next destination

It was to early for lunch so we made our way down and headed over to Diamond Ridge.

West Magalloway track

Diamond Ridge

This was a nice hike up an old skidder road and then nice open woods to another viewless summit. Nothing steep or thick just a nice hike through the woods. We ate our PBJs on the summit and headed down the same route.

Bill making his way through the tall grass
Firetower on Magalloway
Summit canister
Another birds nest in the Hobble Bush

We got back to the car and started the long drive home. Only 10 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Diamond Ridge track

The next map shows where all the peaks that I climbed are located in relation to each other. The two tracks on the bottom are Rice and Cave. The three on the top are Salmon, Scott Bog Peak and South Deer and the two in the middle are West Magalloway and Diamond Ridge.

All the peaks

Salmon, Scott Bog Peak and South Deer

Hiked Salmon, Scott Bog Peak and South Deer on 10/22/2017 with Bill Schor, Bill Cronin and Larry Babcock. This was day 2 of our New Hampshire 200 Highest hiking extravaganza. Weather again was clear and cool in the morning but warmed up to the 70s in the afternoon.

Salmon

Salmon is within 200 feet of the Canadian border and is easily reached from Scott Bog Road after driving about 4 miles on the dirt road. The hike was again pretty uneventful with nice open woods with nothing steep and another viewless summit.

Bill S getting ready for the hike
Summit canister

It was way to early for lunch so we signed in and headed down for the next hike.

Salmon track

Scott Bog Peak

Scott Bog Peak is located off Rt 3 again almost on the Canadian border. We started the hike about a half mile south of the boat ramp on 3rd Connecticut Lake.

Third Connecticut Lake
Reflection on Third Connecticut Lake

The hike was again pretty short but we did have to navigate a pretty steep section that had some thick spruce to make things interesting. We persevered and made it to the viewless summit where we signed in to the register. It was still to early for lunch so we made our way down and drove to the boat ramp on 3rd Connecticut Lake to eat our PBJs on the rocky beach.

Summit canister
Track for Scott Bog Peak

South Deer

After lunch Bill Schor and I drove a short distance to hike South Deer while Bill C and Larry went off to do a different hike. Our luck changed on the hike as we had trouble finding the start of the hike and couldn’t find the trail that was supposed to be at the start. So we started out bushwhacking through some Hobble Bush and then an area of blowdowns which slowed us down to a crawl and then we found the trail but only for a tenth of a mile as we reached the place where we intended to start the bushwhack. Things weren’t going well and then they got worse. We started out in nice open woods that got steep for a while and then got really steep up to the ridgeline. Then it flattened out but was thick nasty spruce. We thought we were near the summit but it turned out to be a false summit and we had to make our way through more nasty spruce. We finally reached the summit and the canister was hidden in another thick patch of spruce and there weren’t any views.

Me on the summit

We signed in with a sigh of relief. I was determined not to go down the same way we came up so we made a loop around the steep stuff and made our way back to the trail which we followed down until we were near where we had started and then bushwhacked a short distance back to the car. We did see a nice waterfall on the way down but that was about it for excitement.

Waterfall along the trail

Only 12 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list. We made our way back to Pittsburg to our half star accommodations and prepared for the next day of hiking.

South Deer track

Cave and Rice

Climbed Cave and Rice on 10/21/2017 with Bill Schor, Bill Cronin, and Larry Babcock. It was the first day of a three day New Hampshire 200 Highest hiking extravaganza. The weather was cool and clear in the morning but warmed up to the 70s in the afternoon which is pretty warm for this time of year that far north. Cave and Rice are located off Rt 26 just east of Dixville Notch and can be reached by driving on dirt logging roads.

Cave

We lucked out on getting to Cave as the logging road is gated at the entrance but there is a snowmobile trail further down Rt 26 that loops back to the logging road. We were able to drive to about a half mile from the summit to start our bushwhack rather than walk over 2 miles along the road to reach the starting point. The short hike was pretty uneventful with a little bit of Hobble Bush at the start but open woods the rest of the way to the summit. No views were visible from the wooded summit.

Summit canister and Bill C signing us in to the register

It wasn’t lunch time so we headed back down to go on the next hike.

Partial view to the south
Larry making his way through the Hobble Bush
Birds nest low down in the Hobble Bush
Track for Cave

After reaching our cars we drove a short distance to Rice.

Rice

We were also lucky on Rice as we were able to drive within a mile of the summit on a logging road that didn’t show on our maps. The hike started in an area that had been logged last year and was pretty desolate as we were walking through an almost clear-cut area. It was also quite warm with the sun beating down on us.

Walking through the clearcut area
View of Dixville Notch to the west
Wind turbines across the valley on Dixville

We reached the wooded viewless summit and signed in and ate our PBJs and then headed down.

The four of us on the summit

After reaching the cars we drove to Pittsburg to spend the night and get ready for the next day of hiking. Only 15 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Rice track

Elephant Mt.

Hiked Elephant Mountain in Andover, Maine on 10/18/2017 with Per and Helle Frost. It was a perfect hiking day with clear skies and cool temps. Elephant Mt. is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. You follow Rt 5 in Maine to the end of the road in Andover then follow South Arm Road for 9+ miles to Elephant Mt Road and drive as far as you dare without taking out the bottom of you car. There isn’t an official trail to the summit but there is a path you can follow most of the way if you have good eyes. We followed it most of the way. The woods are pretty open and no real steep spots, it was a pretty easy bushwhack. No views from the summit but a couple of open spots on the way down gave us some small views.

Our destination from where we parked
Summit canister, note the small elephant trunk

After eating our PBJs we headed back to the car and the long drive home.

Baldpates and Old Speck in the distance

Only 15 more peaks to finish the New England 100 Highest list.

Mendon Peak

Hiked Mendon Peak in Vermont on 10/12/2017. It was a perfect hiking day with clear skies and cool temps. Mendon Peak is located east of Rutland, VT and not too far from Killington Ski Area. The hike started near the trail head for the Bucklin Trail which goes up to Killington. The suggested route follows a logging roads for quite a while before starting the bushwhack to the summit. I was following the suggested route but eventually lost it, so I just headed straight up the side of the mountain to the summit. That seemed to work pretty well. Not much to see on the way up except for a few mushrooms.

Mushrooms on a birch tree

Just before reaching the summit there was a side path to a ledge with a really good view.

Killington just to the north
The view from the ledge

After a short walk to the summit from the view I found the canister and signed in. while I was doing that another hiker showed up. That doesn’t happen very often on summits with no trails. He was from Virginia and is working on quite a few hiking projects. Turns out his wife’s family is from Zofingen, Switzerland where I visited a couple of weeks ago, small world.

Summit canister

I walked back to the view point and ate my PBJ and then headed down on a different and shorter route to the car. Only 16 peaks left to finish the New England 100 Highest peaks.

track