Late 2011
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Beaver Brook Walk - November 6, 2011
Activity and trip report by Ken L.

It was a great day to be out and about at Beaver Brook in Hollis, NH.  The sun was out, the temperature was perfect, and, being November and having recently had a huge snowstorm, there were no bugs!

Deb and Your Webmaster met at the Maple Hill Farm parking lot at 10am for what turned out to be a 5 hour walk through the woods.

Your Webmaster was on a mission, though:  The Beaver Brook people recently added the "Whaleback property" to their already rather large acreage, but Your Webmaster had no idea where it was!

One clue:  On the Beaver Brook web site it mentions that a new trail was cut to "Merganser Pond Overlook".

And "Merganser Pond" was on the trail map, on the far side of the Beaver Brook area from where we started.  So it was going to be a long walk!  But that's OK...and it's the whole idea anyway.

We made our way down Cow Lane and eventually to the Old City Trail, crossing Rte. 130 and passing Wildlife Pond.

We continued on the Old City Trail past the junctions of the Ridge and Tupelo Trails and along the west side of Merganser Pond until the end of Beaver Brook property and onto Hollis conservation land, where Your Webmaster hadn't been before.  And a surprise awaited us:

Some cascades next to the site of an old sawmill!  The sawmill is long gone with just a few stones and other things left, but a placard tells of the sawmill's demise in 1916 when the watchman for the furnace fell asleep and woke to a fire red furnace that was out of water, and he immediately let some cold water into the piping hot furnace.  Yep, the water flashed to steam, and the resulting explosion blew bricks hundreds of yards.  They say you can still find bricks here and there.

We went out to Rocky Pond Road and took a right around the top of Merganser Pond to a dirt road, and it was there we found the trail to the new overlook.  We'd found the Whaleback property!

We had some lunch at the overlook, and some company arrived:

They also had a pup with them that liked to be fuzzed...and liked to look for any food you weren't keeping a close eye on!

After lunch Deb and Your Webmaster went back over to the Old City Trail and took the Tupelo Trail and the Wood Duck Pond Trail to return to Route 130.

After crossing the road it's a bit of a walk through an area that was logged a few years ago.

Deb took a bit of a breather before we made our way back up the hill to the Maple Hill Farm.  Well, it had been several miles of walking, and some of the trails hadn't yet been cleared of trees that couldn't take the weight of the heavy October snowstorm.

We were back at the cars around 3pm, another good day of hiking in a place that is not to be missed.

Bartlett Inn Weekend - October 21-23, 2011
Including Table Mountain and the Tom/Field/Avalon Loop
Activity by Ken L.
Photos by Ken L. and Randy C.
Report by Ken L.

Time for our autumn trip to The Bartlett Inn.

Your Webmaster was joined by Alex, Welcoming Committee Kathy, Randy, and Pam...

...and Gunnar:

Nick and Miriam, who own the Inn, had an "Artists' Weekend", so we were accompanied by some folks who were learning a bit about painting.  We spent Friday and Saturday evenings by the fireplace chatting after returning from dinner.

But during the days, however, what would Your Webmaster, Alex, Kathy, Randy, and Pam ever do with ourselves up there in the White Mountains in the fall where the weather was supposed to be good?  Hmmm...I wonder...

On Saturday we decided to do the Tom/Field/Avalon loop from the Highland Center in Crawford Notch.  We stepped outside to sun and clouds and reasonable temps, so we got the cars loaded and drove up Rte. 302...into pouring rain.  We felt like this:

We figured that we'd just left somewhere that wasn't raining, so we should return and hike nearby.  Back to the Inn, then back to Bear Notch Road and Table Mountain, a hill 1.9 miles off the road.

To say that Table Mt. was "the right call" is an understatement.  The trail follows an old logging road and then breaks off and heads through some brightly colored woods before breaking out to some views of the Kancamagus and the surrounding areas.

We got a bit of rain during our walk, but the rain eventually stopped---for us, anyway.  As if to apologize for having dampened our day, the Hiking Gods smiled on us with the most stunning views of rain showers rolling along the Kancamagus with the sun in the background.



Yes, "you had to be there."

So we thought we'd hang out and enjoy the view for a while.  There's no summit view on Table Mt. (the trail does not go to the summit), but the view from the cliffs is just great.





After a good dinner and some time by the Inn's fireplace, we all turned in for the night.  Over breakfast on Sunday morning we decided to "try again" for Tom/Field/Avalon.  And this time there were clouds, and it felt a little like rain, but the rain held off for the day.

Field, Avalon, Tom

Your Webmaster hasn't done many 4000-footers over the past few years, but he warmed up with Wildcat A as part of "Flags on the 48" in September, so it was time to head up Mt. Tom...and over to Field and back Avalon in a loop if there was time.

It was great to get up onto the ridge where these guys were waiting:


Yes, in addition to some gray jays, the ridge really is that mossy with very dense woods.  It's a wonderful walk to the summit of Mt. Tom (4051').

The summit is wooded, and it looks like people camp up there from time to time.  If you hike this, note that the trail splits near the summit--explore both trails for the different views!

Pam, Randy, and Gunnar made their way back to the Highland Center from Mt. Tom, taking a side trip to the Beecher and Pearl Cascades:

Your Webmaster must check these out!

Kathy, Alex, and Your Webmaster decided to head over the ridge to Mt. Field (4340') and then over Avalon to the Highland Center.

<-- Bretton Woods

Saco Lake with Mt. Pierce and Mt. Washington (in the clouds)

Crawford Notch from Avalon --> 

It's rather steep from Field over Avalon and back down to the intersection with the A-Z Trail.  We made it back to the Highland Center at dusk, just a few minutes before it became dark enough for us to break out the headlamps.

This was a very nice weekend stay in the White Mountains, and the Table Mt. and Tom/Field/Avalon hikes were enjoyed by all, even Gunnar, who's still just a pup and is already a good companion out on the trail.