Friday, April 27, 2012

Arethusa Falls April 17

Still in a hiking mood after the hikes up Pleasant Mt and Boulder Loop, on April 17 I decided to head to Arethusa Falls near Crawford Notch in NH.  This is a "short" hike of about 1.5 miles to the falls. But don't be fooled by "short" hikes.  This trail may be considered an "easy" hike by those who would define themselves as "real" hikers, but don't think you're going to be jogging in and out before breakfast!  Unless you are a frequent and in-shape hiker, you are going to have to put in some effort if you want to see the falls.

I've hiked this trail a couple of times in the past and it is worth doing.  For something a little different this time I decided to hike the Bemis Brook Trail which splits off from the main trail for about 1/2 mile to follow right along the side of the brook. Although there are a lot of roots to work around, it is a nice trail and it brings you past two small waterfalls.

Bemis Falls

and Coliseum Falls

Shortly after Coliseum Falls, the Bemis Brook Trail rejoins Arethusa Falls Trail.  However, you should beware.  I use the word "rejoins" loosely.  If you want to rejoin Arethusa Falls Trail without retracing your steps, then the only way forward is up a very steep riverbank.  And I do mean steep.

It's hard to tell from pictures, but I would say that it was 100 to 125 ft of scrambling straight up rocks and roots while using the roots as a ladder in a lot of spots.  Very careful attention to footing is required in this area.  However I do appear to be surviving.

So on my way I went.

The trail varies from that point with a mixture of rocks, roots and brook crossings.  Fortunately on this trail the brooks are crossed on bridges, not hopping over stones as with some trails.  When the dog hikes with me he seems to think it's fine to cross straight through the brooks, but whenever I can I use bridges.

There are also a couple of spots where you can still see some damage from Hurricane Irene.

Once you arrive at Arethusa Falls, you will no doubt feel that the effort to get there was well worth it.  The exact height of this waterfall is debated, but whatever the exact height may be, it is spectacular just the same.

As in the past, this once again proved to be a lovely hike.  I highly recommend it.

Boulder Loop Trail April 15

The man on the top of the mountain did not fall there. ~ Chinese Proverb

On April 15 we decided to hike Boulder Loop trail in Conway NH.  I've hiked this loop before and I don't remember which direction I went, but this time I hiked it in a clockwise direction.  I thought it proved to be a good choice.  This is a nice trail which takes you past some interesting "boulders" on the way up.

Hiking in this direction the first set of ledges we came to gave us nice views of the Swift River and the highway below as well as some of the surrounding mountains.

Continuing up the trail becomes steeper as you approach the highest ledge.  Once you arrive you are rewarded with fabulous views. 

Continuing in a clockwise direction the first part of the descent after the ledge is rather steep and rocky for a bit.  Then the trail continues down on a nice sloping descent and eventually returns you to your starting point.  While this is considered a "short" loop at only 3 miles long, it is one that, in my opinion, offers a nice reward from the top.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pleasant Mountain April 14

The man on the top of the mountain did not fall there. ~ Chinese Proverb

After my first hike up Pleasant Mt via the Fire Warden's Trail, the following Saturday I decided to try the it again, this time on the Southwest Ridge Trail.  This proved to be an absolutely lovely trail.  After an initial short walk through woods, this trail follows a ridge which allows for a lot of great views while hiking.  Additionally, since there were no leaves out yet the views were beautiful for almost the entire hike along the ridge.

About half way up the Mountain the trail changed to an incredibly interesting environment of stone, boulders and rock face that was not only beautiful but also created the image in my mind of wandering through the the ruins of some ancient city.

After 1.7 miles of hiking we arrived at the Southwest Summit.

Once again, the views were beautiful.

From there we hiked an additional 1 mile across to the actual summit of Pleasant Mt.  This part of the hike was an unpleasant and unrewarding trail that was narrow and not easily hiked.  In order to reach the summit, you descend a few hundred feet and then ascend a few hundred feet in order to gain a final total of only 106 ft of elevation from your starting point a mile before.  The final part of this trail involved scrambling up (and then back down later) a rock face.

The Southwest Ridge Trail is a beautiful trail that I will hike again.  However next time I will stop at the Southwest Summit and not bother with the mile of trail that goes over to the actual summit.

The Southwest Ridge Trail is more strenuous than the Fire Warden's Trail but well worth the hike if you are up to it.  It is a very aesthetically pleasing hike.

Pleasant Mountain April 7

The man on the top of the mountain did not fall there. ~ Chinese Proverb

A beautiful March and April this year allowed for an early start on hiking.  In previous summers I had done some hiking in the White Mountains when I had a chance, but this I year I wanted to try to do a lot more hiking and try a variety of trails.  I decided to start off the season with a hike up Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton/Denmark, Maine.  Being the first hike of the year for me, I thought I would start with the Fire Warden's Trail which is the least steep approach to the summit.  It was a cool and relatively clear day and perfect for hiking.  This was the first time I had hiked Pleasant Mountain.  It is a nice starter Mountain if you are not used to doing a lot of hiking - as is the case with me.  The Fire Warden's Trail is a manageable steady incline to the summit without any surprises or scrambling over rocks.  However the trail is criss crossed by logging areas which leave large bare areas pretty much the whole way up so you don't really feel like you are out in the woods away from everything.  However it is still an enjoyable hike.

Since there were no leaves out yet, the views along the trail were very nice in a few spots.  In one particular spot along the trail we got a nice view of snow covered Mt Washington.

At the summit we were rewarded with some nice views.

A nice hike and one that I would recommend for a hiking season starter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


love that could have been
an obstinate memory
worn out fantasy


college math classes
mix with sleep-deprived students
standard hypnagogue

Sunday, April 1, 2012


B.S by another name...
makes speaker sound cool


designer label
Salvation Army Thrift Store
match made in heaven


halo of palm trees
heaven's just a sin away
midnight moon in sight