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Leg Burner
Leg Burner

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:24 am
Posts: 26
Location: Taint Town, Maine
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I'm a bit rusty at posting trip reports, hence the reason it has taken me so long to get it done.

I made for the White Mountain region Friday night as soon as the work whistle blew! I arrived at KOA in time to set camp, start a fire (in the designated fire ring) and twist the cap off a cold one. I packed my pack and double checked it three times before someone else showed up to distract me from my little obsession. I was so excited to be hiking Moosilauke the next day; I shared my plan with Una-dogger and MichaelJ. I was setting out at 6am on the Beaver Brook Trail! MichaelJ suggested I use another trail, he is keenly aware that I went to grade school with Jesus and this was my first hike of the season. MichaelJ mentioned remembering the Gorge Brook Trail as a nice hike. He gave me great directions and we visited awhile longer before crawling in for the night.

My eyes flew open at the promise of first light. The sky was lighter, by at least one shade, than the silhouette of the mountains... time to get up! I made coffee, checked my pack one more time, checked the map and started the car. This was the first time I'd seen a clock... IT WAS 4:40 A.M.!!! So off I went. A short time later I started out the trailhead without hesitation, completely alone, sweet! I love early morning on the trail, there is a peaceful silence that can not be recreated. The air was thick with moisture and the temperature read 55 degrees.

I could hear the Baker River from the parking area. After crossing the river bridge my travel was easy as the sky lifted. Gorge Brook distracted my attention frequently. There was a mist on the brook that lent it self to be captured in my memory and on my camera. There was no shortage of wild flowers, either. I kept company with this brook at my side nearly all the way to the Ross McKenny Forest. Signs remained of the old trail and a plaque remained in honor of the "builder of trails and builder of men". I puttered along the trail, taking pictures and playing detective each time I came across a print in the soft dirt. Dogs and Moose or really big deer, best I could tell.

I sat awhile, taking in the view, on a bench fashioned from a large beam. The sky was barely above the distant peaks and began to thickly sprinkle my vista point. Time for me to move on and make my way to the summit. The last leg of the trail proved to be no more difficult than the rest. When I reached the place where the trail comes over the rise and you can see the summit, I fell in love with Mt. Moosilauke! I saw a big rabbit just after leaving the low scrub line. The last half mile to the summit my brain couldn't keep up with what my eyes were taking in. There is a rich sense of history that you can feel as you make the summit. That sense is given life by the rock foundations and plaques placed in remembrance to some of the people responsible for that history and the preservation of the land.

I met Mountain Rose (she hikes the FOT48) as she was making her way off the summit. I also met Section Hiker Henry. Henry is completing the AT one section at a time. I think he said he's done from Maine to North Carolina, but don't quote me on that. Mountain Rose had a good head start and I stayed long after Henry left. I get very selfish about having the trail to myself. Especially on such a perfect day. So I played on the summit for awhile.

The cairns are remarkable, there are so many! I couldn't resist adding a stone or two. The old foundations hold the stories of all who have traveled here. The wind felt like an old friend. My sense of wonder and awe stirred together to form a complete peace as I looked out from every vantage point. Then the clouds changed in colour, came closer and the wind grew colder, I figure that was Mother Nature's way of sending me back down the mountain. I played hide and seek with a cute bird, white on the outside tale feathers, just into the low scrub line. On the journey down I said hello to many hikers, visited with a few. But I was all alone when I met Newt. He had four legs and a tail but was bright orange with spots along his spine. He held me captive for quite some time. He was content to lay on his rock, soaking up the warmth the sun had left. He eventually ventured off the trail but not before I took a few pictures.

I met up with the brook again and before I knew it I was back to the bridge at Baker River and back to my car. I left the trail thankful for the restoration of spirit and made my way back to camp. What a great trail (uber-easy even by my standards) and an incredible day.

Happy Trails

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:15 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 4:51 pm
Posts: 1599
Location: Western Mass
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A gem of a hike. Grace and I did the peak via Gorge Brook on Tuesday. It is indeed a very nice trail. Glad you had a good trip!

Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:25 pm
I Spend All My Time on This Forum
I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:52 pm
Posts: 4700
Location: Goffstown Avatar:I love you, you love me!
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Jen and I had hoped to do the Moose this past Sunday. Rain, rain, rain. Glad you had a better turn of weather luck :lol: .


Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:40 pm
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