From a short trip into Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument on the day of the Interior Secretary's visit. Here are a few of us on Barnard Mountain, with a gorgeous view over Katahdin Lake to Mt Katahdin. This is on the International Appalachian Trail, and we met a through-hiker headed southbound all the way to Florida. It sounds like I may have to try out some more hiking on the IAT one of these days.
A short overnight in the White Mountains with a handful of good friends, including one who hadn't been backpacking ever, and one who hadn't been backpacking in the White Mountains. One of my favorite overnight trips in the White Mountains is going up the Nancy Pond Trail, then up the Desolation Trail on Mt Carrigain. This picture is from Signal Ridge on the way down Carrigain. There's a lot of good stuff to see on this hike, including two alpine ponds, a big waterfall, a 4000-footer with wonderful views, and an open ridge with more views. Can't go wrong there.
Mt Chocorua, via the Champney Falls Trail
Not-A-Chance is in Massachusetts for the summer, so I whisked her away to the mountains over the weekend. It's been a wet and cold season this year, quite the opposite of last year, so conditions were dicey. The trail was fairly wet, but nothing bad. It turned out to be great hiking. Champney Falls was gushing, the clouds were high enough to show off the colors of the mountains in the distance, and the rain held off or passed us by pretty quickly whenever it showed up.
With dreary weather like this, hiking plans have to be pretty flexible. Instead of camping for the night, we stayed at The Notch Hostel, arriving just before a torrential downpour. Good stuff. Despite the dampness over the weekend, it was a great time to be in the mountains.
Berry Pickers Trail, Saddleback Mountain, ME
I had the opportunity to help with some light trail maintenance on a brand-new side trail to the Appalachian Trail on Saddleback Mountain. The access to the trail is pretty tricky, with 3 miles of driving on logging roads with no signage, but once you're on the trail it's awfully pretty. I didn't have any views because we were stuck in the clouds the whole time, but there's a lot of open ridgeline on the way up to the trail.
Another bonus of the new trail is that it reaches the AT right between Saddleback and The Horn, so you can make a good day-hike of it, or head further along to Redington Stream campsite for an overnight.
Here are the driving directions that I'll include in the AT Hiker app when I add this trail in there: To reach the trailhead, drive about 15 miles east from Rangeley on Route 4. Then, turn left on Reed’s Mill Road and continue about 3 miles. Just after crossing Conant Stream on a bridge, turn left on a gravel road across from a white house. The gravel road is passable by cars, but can be in very rough shape. Keep left at junctions on this road, and continue about 3.2 miles to the trailhead.
I am from California, we have 10,000 foot (3000 meter) mountains, volcanic in nature. I lived for my first 41 years of life 2 hours from Yosemite National Park and many other wilderness areas, marked by evergreen trees with needles and snowy winters.
Thailand's landscape and weather is a huge contrast for me. I love it! God is so creative! Here, in this part of Thailand (Bangkok/central Thailand) you have coconut palms, banana trees, many other tropical fruits like Durian, Lychee, Mango and much more!), geckos and beautiful birds, monitor lizards and cobras, and lots of thunder and lightning storms. There are three seasons here, which we have now lived through all of them. There is hot, hotter, and hottest! Actually they are called Hot Season (March-April), Rainy Season (my favorite, May/June-October), and Cool Season (but it's not really that cool! November-February).
My husband as we pedaled along one of Bangkok's many raised cement paths. Rainy season in this area lasts from May/June to the end of October, and we were pounded as soon as we stepped off the ferry. But the weather is warm, so it felt great.
Waited out the worst of it in a bike cafe, and had a nice little section of mud to ride in the botanical garden, but mostly it was a paved day of riding.
There is an area of Bangkok called the "Green Lung" to which we like to escape periodically. It is an 8 k ride down a busy highway to the ferry boat crossing, which costs 7 baht (about a 25 cents). When you step off the ferry, you have left the concrete jungle behind and enter Bangkok of old, with traditional teak wood housing on stilts and green everywhere, both natural and some orchards.
There are raised cement paths everywhere (typical around much of Thailand due to rainy season) which are fun to ride on - you never know what you'll find. This day we went into the botanical gardens which has some paved trail and also some dirt, which was mud this rainy day when we went a couple weeks ago. The pic is taken from a bird watching tower.
Two days of clearing blowdowns, brush, and other minor debris from the trail over Mt Abraham in Maine.
There was quite a bit of snow still on the trail between Mt Abe and the Appalachian Trail, but not nearly as much on the Fire Warden's Trail side (a stretch of rotten spring snow below tree line on that side, but it passes quickly). We cleared a handful of blowdowns, and opened up lots of overgrown spots on the trail.
Even met the first AT Northbounder of the year at Spaulding Lean-to. He's on schedule to finish the Trail by the end of May. Whoah...
Speckled Mountain via Evergreen Valley and Cold Brook Trail
The black flies are out in force, and a few ticks, too. But this south-facing, low-elevation trail to Speckled Mountain was totally snow-free and in fine condition. The heat wave (80°F) made this hike, my first in almost two months, much harder than it should have been, but not seeing a soul all day on a beautiful ridge walk along Speckled Mountain a real treat.
Mount Washington was visible to the west from most viewpoints on the hike, and it looks like it's completely snow-capped still. What a season it has been!
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