Monday, June 18, 2012

THE VERMONT PRESIDENTIALS VT-35ers (The "Busted Toe-Nail & Spiral Chimney" Hike)

My hiking friend Tracy and I decided on a nice loop hike in Vermont. We arrived rather late for the approx. 12 mile route known as "The Vermont Presidentials" in the Breadloaf Wilderness. The hike includes an ascent/descent on the Cooley Glen/Emily Proctor Trails with the middle portion being the Long Trail. It was a beautiful day to be out. We saw some hurricane Irene damage as we crossed the New Haven River on the Cooley Glen Trail.



We ascended quickly to the junction of the Long Trail. At the junction we encountered a weary but determined Long Trail thru-hiker with duct tape on his boots. A short distance from the junction was the Cooley Glen Shelter.



The side trip up to Mt Grant rewarded us with a sweeping view of our route accross the res of the Presidentials: Cleveland, Roosevelt and Wilson. It was here we met a couple of section hikers who we chatted with for a bit.



We headed back south along the Long Trail enjoying a pleasant ridgeline atmosphere full of balsam trees and afternoon breezes.





We went over many bumps one of which was Mt Cleveland. As we continued we stumbled on a red squirrel? tail all by itself on the trail, not sure what happened to it's owner.



After what seemed like a long stretch we finally reached a nice lookout on Mt Roosevelt and soaked in the view, visiting with the guys we met on Mt Grant.





We had one more descent before heading up our last peak of the day, Mt Wilson. Wilson had some limited views but nice nonetheless.





We headed down to the Emily Proctor Shelter where we met and chatted with the backpackers one last time. The black flies, which hadn't bothered us much thus far, were starting to swarm so we began our descent on the Emily Proctor Trail.



We were descending at a pretty good clip and at one point I stubbed my left toe hard. It was painful but as always I walked it off and didn't think much of it. (It ended up developing into a bloodblister and I lost the nail 6 month later.) The rest of the descent was a pleasant hike through late afternoon forest.



Once back at the trailhead we played around checking out the New Haven River before getting packed up for the trip home.



On our way out on the forest roads we stopped to take some phtos of nearby Mt Abraham.



Nearby Tracy spotted a home with an amazing spiral chimney. We pulled in and the owner was gracious enough to show us around his custom built home. Very impressive handiwork by this friendly gentleman.





We headed back home after a full day in the wonderful Green Mountains and still marveling at the awesome architecture we had the good fortune to see. A great day out with good company indeed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

REDFIELD & CLIFF MTNS ADK 46'ERS (The "Rev it up" hike)

I made plans with ADK High Peaks Forum member and fellow blogger, (Off on Adventure) TelemarkMike for a trip to Redfield and Cliff. I stopped for some early morning pictures along the Upper Works Rd...

Mike and his new dog "Rev" were waiting at the trailhead when I arrived. We headed out from the Upper Works along the Calamity Brook trail and were delighted at how cool the morning was. We stopped briefly at Calamity Pond to enjoy the views...
We then proceeded to the Flowed Lands and once again stopped for a break and took in the views and wildflowers (Starflower)...

We stopped at the McMartin Lean-to to check it out...
Near the Lean-To their was an opening with a view...
We made it to the Lake Colden crossing fairly quickly afterward...
The Opalescent Brook was a pleasure to hike along as we headed towards Uphill Brook Lean-To...

At the lean-to we ate snacks an prepared to hike the herdpaths. We headed to Redfield first and the herdpath followed the picturesque Uphill Brook most of the way up...
We arrived at the summit and enjoyed the views south of Allen Mtn...


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There was views north and west of Skylight, Marcy, Gray, Colden and the McIntyre Mtns as well...


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After watching a military bomber skim the summit of Marcy we decided the weather looked iffy so we headed down to the junction to the Cliff Mtn herdpath...
The herdpath up Cliff was very muddy in the lower section...
Had very steep cliffs in the middle section...
And a lot of blowdown along the ridge...
Although a relatively short ascent took us a while longer than expected.
Rev did great all the way through and only had to be helped up a couple vertical cliff sections.
We enjoyed the limited views of Colden from the summit, but we wanted to head back down to the main trail before any weather moved in...

There was however some nice fungi and flowers (Bunchberry) to look at near the summit...

There were some nicer views as we descended back down the steep Cliffs...

The hike out along the Opalescent was nice and we took a couple breaks along the stream, vowing to come back in warmer weather and swim in some of the holes...

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We kept moving however to stay ahead of the black flies and soon we were back at the Lake Colden bridge, where Rev made it up the ladder on the other side with no help!...
Rev is really turning out to be a great hiking dog!

I enjoyed the wildflowers along the trail including multiple Pink Ladyslippers as it sprinkled lightly on us...
We made it back to the trailhead in about 12 hours, a long but satisfying hike with great company. Thanks to Mike and Rev for a great day out.