Monday, March 23, 2009

Castle in the Clouds (pt.1)

Another great day for a late winter hike. Off we went to Castle in the Clouds in Moultonboro N.H. The Castle is actually on a summit across the lake (Winnapasaukee) from Mt. Major where we hiked a couple of weeks before. A nice trail system has been put together on the grounds of the Castle, enabling one to summit several mountains around the Castle and to the Castle summit as well. We chose the Oak Ridge Trail to the Oak Ridge Lookout. After a while we were able to see up to the Castle, eventually passing it , then looking back down on it. We kicked up a couple of deer on the way up,I believe we rousted the same pair on the way down later. We stopped to cook lunch, tucked down in the trees out of the wind. The nicest part of the day was while we were enjoying lunch...perfect! We made our way down to the Shannon Pond area on the Castle grounds. Sign says there are giant trout in that water. This is one adventure dog who's NOT going swimming today! Around the pond were bronze statues of a family of foxes. Silly me....what...I thought they were real! Mom and Dad got a good laugh when I jumped sky high at the sight of the fox family! I need to trust my nose more! Finally made it to the Castle itself.There was a nice couple from Wolfboro up there sunning themselves. They had driven up.....there's a road??? ha! ha! We all had a nice chat before we made our way back down to the main road. We had done a horseshoe trail so we had a 2 mile road walk back to the van. I rode on Dad's shoulder like always. We saw LOTS of chipmunks on the stone wall beside the road, oh they taunt me so! Sat and watched a roadside brook melting winter into spring before finally getting back to old blue (vw van). Spring is just around the corner, and me, for one, can't wait to get in some more hiking...SOON!

Castle in thc Clouds (pt.2)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Downeast (pt.1)

Van-trippin for the weekend. We were off to celebrate a birthday, not mine, not Mom's...Hum? North we headed. Mom would say "Up Maine" Dad would say "Downeast"
Either way we drove north all day Saturday. We fried up some burger for tacos outside the van, at a bird sanctuary along the way. After lunch we went to Fort Point lighthouse, I posed for pictures at the bell house there. This is also the sight of the old Fort Pownall. There is a memorial rock (posed again) near the remains of the old fort.
As the sun was setting we found the most incredible "Arcadian rock" like beach ever. Dad says I can't give up the location as this is now our "very special" place to escape,private and peaceful, and we want to keep it that way! The rocks there are soooo coool! I even found a huge black stripe that ran from land to surf side. We climbed and explored until the sun was gone then off down the road to find a place to vancamp. Found a perfect spot. Warm rain all night to sooth us to sleep. Woke in view of the ocean. Warm fog engulfed us, sun rays poking through. Fantabulous morning. Mom and Dad got coffees and we sat near a harbor and looked across the water to Mt. Catillac and Arcadia National Park. Stunning!.
Long mosey home. Stopped at a roadside farm. I met a Llama, a sheep and a really cool white goat I named snowball. The barn out across the field had a "PEACE" sign Christmas wreath, the folks loved it, they're such old hippys. After all it is a VW Van we're riding in.
We stopped in Waldoboro for a quick break. We walked down by the ice covered river which was buckling under the pressure of the spring melt beginning. You could hear the birds screeching, the church bells ringing and the ice popping. (see video)
It was so warm in the van Saturday night that we left the bed made in hopes of a few more getaways before the summer crowds get out and about.

Downeast (pt.2)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mt. Major (pt.1)

Mt. Major in Alton Bay N.H. One of our favorite hikes. Another that we've climbed in all seasons. Last time we hiked up there we read in the paper that there was a fire on top (28 acres) the day after we were there. We saw the fire damage .4 miles from the top...always so devastating to us...OUR TREES!
On the trip up...Mom snowshoed, Dad hiked...carried his snowshoes but never did put them on, we came upon a snowman. We fixed it up with eyes and a mouth. Dad gave "her" a Mohawk hairdo, made out of pine sticks. This is not their first snow woman with a Mohawk...remember Miss Molly in the Smokies. Well we named ours Miss Major, wished her well and off we went up the mountain.
Mt. Major is a "great family hike",says the guide book. They surely mean in the summer. The winter brings a bit more of a challenge. Normally the "boulder loop" trail winds through huge rock erratics. But in the winter the trail goes straight up and over some of them, making for a STEEP up, exspecially on snowshoes! I kept going back to check on Mom. She's always poking along behind us...Miss Daisy! The trail we followed was marked with orange blazes that matched my coat perfect. Easy to follow with the white,white snow all around us. We made our way to the summit. What an incredible view down on Lake Winnipesaukee. Pictures at the "remains" of the rock summit house, then a quick decent. The wind was HOWLING on top, you can hear it in the video.
I suspect that Miss Major will be long melted next time we hike Mt. Major, but looking forward to it already.

Mt. Major (pt.2)