Fall hike to Mt. Moosilauke

Back at the end of October I went on a meetup.com group hike to Mt. Mooslauke in Warren, NH. Although it was a little past the foliage peak, a hike to Mt. Moosilauke is always a treat. Another bonus of the trip was that I could see the new Dartmouth Ravine Lodge.

I think they did a great job with the design and construction. The inside was equally impressive.

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

Mt Moosilauke October 28 2017-7It was a beautiful fall day for a hike. At one of the viewpoint along the trail were were able to see remnants of the “valley fog” that happens on many fall mornings in the area.

We finally made it to the summit. There was enough snow at the top to remind us that winter is coming!

Since it was a sunny, clear and cool day the views were spectacular.This is a view towards Franconia Ridge. The plaque in the rock is a memorial plaque for Dick Sanders, who was the manager of the Moosilauke Summit Camp and president of the Dartmouth Outing Club for a number of years.

The photo above is a view of Mt. Lafayette near Franconia Notch. Lafayette is on my list of mountains yet to climb.

The photo above is a view towards Lincoln, NH and South Peak part of Loon Mt. ski area. You can see one of the ski trails on the upper left hand corner of the photo. The tall building with the red roof is the RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain.

View towards Long Pond and Black Mt in Benton, NH.

View towards the Webster Slide cliffs with Lake Tarleton and Lake Armington in the distance.

We rested and had some food near the foundation stones of the Summit Camp that burned in 1942. The Moosilauke page on the Hike the Whites website tells us,

In 1860 the Prospect House, a stone hotel patterned after the Mt Washington Summit House was opened on the summit of Moosilauke. It went through many changes over the years, and it’s name was changed to the Tip-Top House. The hotel and a circular tract of land on the summit was given to Dartmouth in 1920 and students ran the place during the summer months like an AMC hut. It burned in 1942, and the stone foundation can still be seen.

Below is my favorite image of the hotel from the Hike the Whites Moosilauke page

It must have been quite the experience to have stayed up there overnight. I bet visitors witnessed some fantastic sunrises and sunsets. I bet they witnessed some wild storms as well.

Foliage hike to Mt. Abraham and Lincoln Peak

In the fall I like to get in a hike as close to the foliage peak as possible. This year I joined a Meetup.com group for a hike on the Long Trail to Mt. Abraham in Warren, VT.

Mt. Abraham Trail Sign

There were lots of other hikers on the trail and the summit of Mt. Abraham was a busy place.

We had a great view to the west through the gap to Bristol, VT and Lake Champlain in the distance.

Naturally we had to go see the Mt. Abraham plane wreck while we were there.

The New England Hiking page tells us,

“On June 28, 1973, a pilot on his way from Twin Mountain, Vermont to Newburgh, New York was trying to navigate through a thick cloud and struck some trees at roughly 3,000 feet elevation on Mount Abraham. He survived the plane crash, but parts of the place still exist on the mountain today.”

I had been studying the maps for this hike for some time and had the crazy idea to hike past Mt. Abraham and the plane wreck along the ridge to Lincoln Peak, which is also the top of Sugarbush Ski area. I wanted to get some photos of the views in addition to the ski lodge from the summit.

 

Winter Hike to Smarts Mt.

On November 28th our Meetup group headed up the Lambert Ridge Trail on our way to the summit of Smarts Mt. in Lyme, NH. It was overcast and foggy for most of our hike across Lambert Ridge.

We were surprised to see numerous bear tracks in the area between Lambert Ridge and the base of Smarts Mt.

bear-track-smarts-mt-hike-2016Good thing we had Microspikes since the trail was steep and icy. It was a tough climb and I was happy to reach the fire tower at the top. The great surprise of the day was the view from part way up the tower. It was so overcast and foggy on the way up I never expected such a nice view. It was a wonderful combination of snow covered trees, valley fog and interesting cloud formations.

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Return to Blueberry Mt., September 2016

On September 5th, 2016 we returned to Blueberry Mt. What a big difference from our April hike. Everything was lush and green. And we found lots of ripe blueberries!

blueberry-mt-sep-5-2016-3blueberry-mt-sep-5-2016-4This time we went past the summit and over the other side to a lookout with a view towards Mt. Moosilauke. Just off of the main trail we found a rocky area with a great view to have snack, relax and enjoy the view.  As luck would have it, our rest spot was surrounded by blueberries.blueberry-mt-sep-5-2016-12

blueberry-mt-sep-5-2016-11I put on my 300mm lens for a zoom shot of the exposed rock near the ravine.

blueberry-mt-sep-5-2016-15blueberry-mt-sep-5-2016-16The exposed “rock” looks more like loose gravel and dirt. I bet it’s a stream bed and waterfall during the spring.

We have already made plans to go back next season in early September for the blueberry feast hike.

Blueberry Mt. Hike, Benton, NH

On April 16th our Meetup.com activities group explored a trail we had not been on before. We went up Blueberry Mt. in Benton, NH. We had been to nearby Black Mt. many times. We heard from another hiker in our group that Blueberry Mt. was a little bit easier and had slightly different views than Black Mt. It was about 2.5 miles to the summit but the elevation gain was a lot less than Black. Mt.

View of Black Mt.
View of Black Mt. from the summit of Blueberry Mt.
View west towards Vermont.
View west towards Vermont. I think those are the mountains of Groton State Forest.
View towards Mt. Cube in Orford, NH
View towards Mt. Cube in Orford, NH. You can just catch a gimps of Lake Katherine.
View towards Peaked Mt. in Piermont, NH and the cliff on Rt. 5 in Fairlee, VT.
View towards Peaked Mt. in Piermont, NH and the cliff on Rt. 5 in Fairlee, VT.
View of Killington Ski Resort 50 miles away in Killington, VT.
View of Killington Ski Resort 50 miles away in Killington, VT.

 

Links to more info about Blueberry Mt.:

 

Qingyuan Mountain Hike in Quanzhou, China

One of the best adventures during my trip to Quanzhou was an early morning hike up Qingyuan Mountain. The mountain is favorite destination of locals and tourists alike. We arrived early so we would be there before the crowds. It was still dark as we started up the path. Eventually the “trail” became more of a staircase than a path. Climbing the stairs was a good workout. After an hour or so of hiking we arrived at Sky Lake. It was a beautiful little lake with an impressive visitors center on one side and function hall on the other. Much to my disappointment (I was hoping for a hot drink), the visitors center was not open yet. I was also looking forward to seeing the black swans and white swans that lived at the lake. Apparently it was even too early for the swans.

 

Sky Lake and the visitors center.
Sky Lake and the visitors center.

We continued past the lake where we noticed a sign for the Qingyuan Cave. We followed the trail to the cave, which took us higher towards the summit. Instead of an actual cave we found a small temple complex. A sign explained that the temple was built over or on the site of the cave, which made me happy since the temple site was very nice.

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-4

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-1

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-2

Not only was the temple beautiful, the view from the temple was fantastic.

Quanzhou and the Jinjiang River
Quanzhou and the Jinjiang River.

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Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-8

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-5

Upon going back down the mountain we discovered the red roofed buildings in the photo above served hot tea and food.

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-14

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-15

We were hungry and thirsty so this place was a welcome site. We got a package of tea, a tea pot, a thermos of hot water and a small heater to keep the tea pot warm for 15 yuan. Much of the food looked strange (like chicken feet) or was not what I would consider breakfast food (like yams) and stuff I could not even identify. We did find some red grapes, orange slices and french fries to eat which tasted pretty damn good to us at that point. It was just cool enough outside so the hot tea really hit the spot.

On they way down the mountain we got some fantastic views of Quanzhou near West Lake Park.

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-18

Qingyan Mt Hike January 9 2016-17
The large modern looking building near the lake is the China Museum of Fujian-Taiwan Kinship. We stopped there for a short time on our way back to World City.

We took a different trail down the mountain so that we would end up at the Laojun Rock. Along the trail we observed numerous inscriptions carved into the rocks. The characters where painted red to make them easier for visitors to read. I think they were part of the Qi Feng Inscriptions mentioned on the Travel China Guide website.

Stone Statue of Laozi

Jennifer and I at the Stone Statue of Laozi
Jennifer and I at the Stone Statue of Laozi

The Laojun Rock is a beautiful statue in a very peaceful garden setting with a nice view of the mountain in the background. There is an incense burner in the viewing area which adds to the peaceful atmosphere of the exhibit.

The Qingyuan Mountain Website tells us, “The Song-Dynasty statue represents a man with a long beard-believed to be the philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu), the founder and Saint of Taoism.” China Culture.org mentions, “He is credited with writing the seminal Taoist work, the Dao De Jing” also known as Tao Te Ching.

Qingyuan Mountain would definitely on the list of places to visit again during another visit to Quanzhou.

Hike to Mt. Cube on the Cross Rivendell Trail

On July 3rd I joined a Meetup.com group for a hike to the two peaks of Mt. Cube in Orford, NH. Last September I hiked to Mt. Cube on the Appalachian Trail, which is 3.3 miles from the trail head to the south summit. This time we would take different trail to the top. The Cross Rivendell Trail is only 2 miles from the trail head to the South Summit. I liked the idea of a shorter hike and I heard the views are better along the way.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-1

Everything I head about the views on the way up are true. There are several scenic views along the trail.

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Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-5

One of the first scenic views faces Orford, NH and Fairlee, VT. I can see the cliffs of Fairlee peaking out behind Sunday Mt. in Orford.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-8

The view from the next scenic look out is even better.

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We can see Killington to the southwest.

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I can barely make out the ski trails through the haze.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-15

I can see most of Indian Pond behind that damn tree top. I also recognize the cliff face of Peaked Mt. up in Piermont, NH.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-16

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-18

We were all hungry by the time we made it to the top. We wasted no time digging lunch out of our packs and settling down to enjoy the view and eat.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-17

I recognized the distinctive shape of Mt. Cardigan in the distance. The hike to Holts Ledge helped me to recognize the mountain.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-20Way off in the distance we could see the windmills at the Groton Wind Farm in Groton, NH.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-23

A visit to Mt. Cube is not complete without a trip to the North Peak for some awesome views to the east and north. It’s only about another half mile hike.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-21

Mount Moosilauke dominates the view from the North Peak.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-22

I like the view towards Lake Tarleton and Armington on the right. I’m pretty sure that’s Black Mt. in the distance on the left.

Mt. Cube Hike July 3 2015-25

We easily spent anther half hour to forty five minutes taking photos and enjoying the view.

I have no doubt I will take the Cross Rivendell Trail rather than the Appalachian Trail on my next trip to Mt. Cube.