2014  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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   OUR KIND OF BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: A QUIET
DAY HIKING & KAYAKING IN THE WHITES W/ FRIENDS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 1

 
"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?"  
 
~ Satchel Paige
 
 
That's a fun thing to ask yourself on a good day!

I'm not sure how old Jim felt today -- it's his birthday -- but I felt like a kid again, having another wonderful day with our Maine friends, Eric and Lynn.

Eric came up with a great plan for activities on the eastern side of the White Mountains that all four of us and our three dogs could enjoy today. We lucked out with warm, sunny weather, too, making for a perfect day playing outdoors.


Jim looks like he's having fun!

We met Eric and Lynn at the Baldface Circle trailhead parking area on Rt. 113 along the Maine-New Hampshire state border.

It was a beautiful drive from Twin Mountain, NH along US 2 through Gorham, ME and farther east, with views of the northern Presies, other mountains, the Androscroggin River, birch trees, and nice homes.

Maine 113 is narrow and hilly, closely following the Wild River and another stream:

 

Above and below:  foot bridge across the Wild River

DEER HILL HIKE

There was plenty of room in the Baldface Circle parking area when we got there. Most hikers head east to the Baldface Loop and other trails on the New Hampshire side of the mountains. Eric was right in thinking we'd pretty much have the trails to the east -- in Maine -- to ourselves.

All of us began a four-mile loop to Little Deer Hill (elev. 1,080') and Deer Hill (elev. 1,367').

 


Casey and Maddie play in a shallow stream.

Lynn turned around when we came to a low dam across the Cold River:


Jim walks across the concrete "dam"


Clear, placid water above dam


Completely different on other side of dam

Jim and Cody turned around about half way up Little Deer Hill (they got about two miles on this hike). The trail was steeper and rougher than Jim was interested in doing today.


Jim inspects a survey marker on the NH-ME border

Eric, his sweet Greater Swiss Mountain dog named Madison (Maddie), Casey, and I continued around the loop. Parts of the trail were steep both up and down but Eric went slowly so I could catch up. We hiked about four miles on this loop.

There were nice views from half a dozen ledges or areas of bedrock, mostly toward the Baldfaces (west) but also a couple to the valleys and mountains to the east:

 

 

We followed the Cold River and another stream for about a mile on the way back to the trailhead.

Casey and Maddie played like two pups on that hike. Even though Maddie is nine, she's still very active and playful. Eric and I loved watching the two dogs run wild in the woods and through the streams.  

THE BASIN POND

By the time we got back to the parking lot it was about 12:30 and we were all hungry. We drove a couple miles to The Basin for a picnic lunch by scenic Basin Pond.

 

A group of about a dozen young teenage girls and their male supervisor from a nearby summer camp were at the lake when we arrived. We were able to use one of the picnic tables for our lunch. Eric and Lynn surprised Jim with a b.d. card and some special cookies from a bakery in their town. That was nice!

Eric brought his one-person kayak. He and Jim took turns paddling it across the lake and back. I wanted to go out, too, but my legs and arms were too sore today.


Casey swims out to Eric while Lynn and Madison watch.

Above and below:  Casey was too fearful of the kayak to swim out to Jim.

 


Cody's cool with the kayak, though.

As you can see, we all had fun at this pretty little lake.

RATTLESNAKE POOL

Next we drove to nearby Stone House Road for a two-mile roundtrip hike to beautiful blue-green Rattlesnake Pool.

Eric has no idea how it got that name -- there are no rattlesnakes in Maine. It's a lousy name for a gorgeous spot. It's not on the detailed White Mtn. map Eric generously let us keep but my description might be enough to guide others to the same spot.

We parked near the gate on Stone House Rd. and walked back a private gravel road toward a privately-owned stone A-frame house with a grass airstrip, turned left (N) . . .

 

. . . and hiked uphill on a wide, more rough trail to a cardboard sign with "POOL " on it.

Along the way was a short spur to a pretty little waterfall and a wooden foot bridge over a six-foot deep "canyon:"

 

 

Soon we came to Rattlesnake Pool, which is absolutely gorgeous!

It's down a steep slope and reminded me of The Basin Pool in Crawford Notch that we saw last weekend with Eric and Lynn -- except we had this one to ourselves.

We all climbed down the slope to the rocks below so we could enjoy the pool up close. The creek flowed into it on one side via a waterfall and flowed out the other side, cascading down the slope.

Casey and Cody loved the water, especially Casey, who jumped in numerous times to chase sticks in the deep part of the water.

Cody kind of slid in from the smooth wet rocks, went under water, and came out shaking -- but he seemed to enjoy it.


Cody's in the pool; Jim and Casey are near the outlet.


What a perfect place to relax!

We said goodbye to our friends when we got done with this hike. We really enjoyed spending another day in the great outdoors with them.

After we got back to the camper Jim went out to pick up a tasty veggie pizza in Twin Mountain. While he was waiting a group of people sang happy birthday to a young girl. Jim said hi to her and said it was his birthday, too. The group sang happy birthday to him!   

Jim says thank you to all who called or sent him e-wishes.

Next entryscenes from a day drive through the White Mountains

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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