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
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
Above and below: foot bridge across the Wild
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
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:
across the concrete "dam"
placid water above dam
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.
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.
out to Eric while Lynn and Madison watch.
below: Casey was too fearful of the kayak to swim out to Jim.
with the kayak, though.
As you can see, we all had fun at this pretty little lake.
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
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.
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 entry: scenes from a day drive through the White
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil