August 30, 2013

Owl's Head in Keene

Owl's Head
2,120 feet

Erwin and I had hiked Owl's Head once before when I was pregnant, so we knew it would be a good mountain for Frankie's first real climb.  He'd already been up a few mountains, of course, but in the carrier, and now he likes to hike on his own.  However, since he's still two and we want him to enjoy hiking, the mountain needed to be a pretty modest undertaking.  Owl's Head fit the bill perfectly.  It is a real little mountain: there are ledges with views to encourage one upward, steep rock scrambles, exposure, and a magnificent view from the summit.  Plus, it's only 0.6 mile to the summit with 460 feet in elevation gain.

We also knew that this would be more challenging than Frankie's previous self-powered hikes, and that going would be slow, so I wore the carrier, stuffed full of snacks.  It's strange: we virtually never snack at home, but take the boy in the woods, and he must have snacks.  Whatever it takes, right?  And he did great!  The little guy climbed all the way to the top himself.  We had some frustrating moments with "flopping" which he found hilarious and we, less so.  He has to learn about gravity sometime, but the side of a mountain isn't the best spot.  Of course we were careful on his behalf, and we all lived to tell the tale, so I'm counting it a success.  However, based on the flopping, I stuffed him in the carrier to ride down.  

Back at the car, we headed straightaway to the Mountaineer to purchase the patch we'd shown Frankie the day before, then had lunch outside on the terrace at the Adirondack Cafe.  A great day all around!   

Starting up the trail all smiles.
Climbing over some roots.
Peek-a-boo!
A stick is the perfect hiking accessory.
A snack break (cheerios and yogurt raisins)
Erwin took pictures while Frankie munched away
Sticks and rocks and cones, oh my!
Another snack
Still got the stick!
Scrambling up the rocks.  Go Frankie, go!
Almost there...
Celebratory cookie.  This had to be consumed IMMEDIATELY.  It was very important.
Me and my guy!
'Murf made it to the top, too.
Goofing around
Frankie and Dada
We three.
View from the summit

Lunch at the Adirondack Cafe, after procuring the much hyped patch

August 10, 2013

Mossy Marshall

Marshall
4,360 feet  |  ranked 25/46 in height  |  21st peak climbed

After a month to recover from the bug situation on Seymour, Erin and I were ready for another hike.  We'd be repeating our now-standard long day of drive-hike-drive, so had to limit our selection to something relatively easy to accommodate our slow pace.  At roughly 14 miles round trip with approximately 2,600-feet elevation gain, Marshall seemed like a good choice, and I was super excited to check out another new trailhead: Upper Works.

The hike can be broken out into sections: trailhead to Flowed Lands, around Flowed Lands, and herd path to summit.  It's almost 5 miles of gentle grades to Flowed Lands, gaining about a 1,000 feet along the way.  Adirondack flats, with the usual assortment of mud, rocks, and log bridges.  We stopped to check out Calamity Pond and the Henderson Monument.  I was exhilarated to reach Flowed Lands, a magical place with Colden's sheer mass rising behind the marshy waters.  It is perhaps another mile from there to the junction with the Herbert Brook herd path, obvious on the left just after crossing a small bridge.  

The herd path is immediately charming.  It follows Herbert Brook up the mountain, and as such, there are many small cascades and pools, and verdant moss everywhere.  The trail crosses over the stream many times, and ascends in the stream bed at times.  It made for a very pleasing ascent that never felt too steep, despite gaining around 1,500 feet in roughly 1.5 miles.  Although the hike is mostly through dense forest, a few nice views of Iroquois can be found while ascending.  At the wooded summit, another hiker volunteered to take a picture of Erin and I together, and then we explored the ledges a bit.  We found a small ledge with great views, and refueled there before heading down again. Another great hike in the books!  

Read Erin's trip report here.

Calamity Pond
at Henderson Monument

narrow-leaved gentian (Gentiana linearis)
at Flowed Lands


red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)



on the summit ledge where we ate lunch
view of Colden from near the summit

foot repair before heading down
not a bad spot for a sandwich