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Thread: Checking Progress on Dry River Bridge + Some Crawford Notch Bushwhacking (12-Nov-09)

  1. #1
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Checking Progress on Dry River Bridge + Some Crawford Notch Bushwhacking (12-Nov-09)

    Everyone has their favorite spots, and the Crawford Notch area is one of mine. In part, I suppose this location has earned its favored status with me because it's less than a 30 minute drive from my home in Bethlehem. But even if that weren't the case, there are innumerable places that I find of interest to check out.

    On this particular day, I did a couple of mini-bushwhacks to check out the view from two places:
    1) a small landslide on the eastern side of the Dry River just a bit south of the suspension bridge that's being replaced, and
    2) a ledge (about 2,460 ft elevation) off the Webster Cliff Trail.

    Since the landslide is located so close to the suspension bridge, I went the few tenths of a mile extra distance to see how things are progressing with the bridge replacement. By going this extra distance, it enabled me to get the nice view looking up Oakes Gulf toward Washington and Monroe.

    Once I arrived at the work site, I ran into Cristin Bailey (Trails Manager, Saco Ranger District) and her crew. She said she has a Thanksgiving dinner riding on a successful completion of the new bridge by Thanksgiving.

    According to Bailey, all the helicopter work is done. There were 12 inbound flights delivering materials, and there were 8 outbound flights to carry stuff away from the site.

    Below is a photo of how the new bridge will look (OK . . . just kidding . . . this is only a temporary bridge for workers to use for getting from one side of the river to the other).

    Here's a shot looking across to the east side of the Dry River showing a crew doing some on-site work for the new bridge.

    Other than the old bridge being removed, it was difficult to determine what other work had been done. I could see that some new bolts had recently been put in place on the abutment on the west side of the river.

    So, having checked out the bridge construction site, I made my way a short distance back down the trail in order to bushwhack to the landslide area. With the water level so low, it didn't take too much effort to find a safe spot to cross the river. Once on the other side, it was a short 15 minute uphill jaunt to the spot I wanted to check out. The view from there was certainly unique, but not what I'd call a blockbuster view.

    Below is a photo showing the view from the landslide which looks SSW down the Dry River Valley toward Mt. Bemis and the wooded backside of Frankenstein Cliffs.

    To begin on my next mini-adventure, I drove a short distance up Route 302 to the trailhead for the Webster Cliff Trail. Just a short distance from the trailhead, I stopped to snap a photo of Mt. Willey from the bridge that crosses the Saco River.

    After hiking the Webster-Cliff Trail for about 40 minutes, I left the trail in pursuit of a ledge located at about 2,460 ft elevation. Not all bushwhacks turn out successful (at least not mine!). In retrospect, I know what I did wrong to cause me to come out at the bottom, rather than the top of this ledge.

    Well, it was already approaching 4 PM when I arrived at the bottom of the ledge. Considering the short daylight hours of November, I didn't feel comfortable with trying to work my way to the top of the ledge. However, even from the area at the bottom of the ledge, I was able to get a somewhat restricted view. So, I'll just consider this as a preview of coming attractions for another adventure on some other day.

    Here is a snapshot of the restricted view from the bottom of the ledge looking southerly down the Crawford Notch toward Mt. Chocorua.

    Although these two mini-adventures didn't result in any breathtaking views, they were certainly a fun way to spend the afternoon!

    1HappyHiker

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    P.S. It should be noted that while the bridge work is ongoing, there might be times when segments of the Dry River Trail are temporarily closed (click HERE for a link to the USFS memo about this).
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 11-15-2009 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Add P.S. Comment at end of report

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Hooray!

    Thanks for the report. I don't know why I wanted to see this get done so much. I'm very glad to hear they're working on the bridge! I hope the rain forecast for this weekend doesn't hold them up. Please do a followup visit or Hummm! Maybe I'll plan to come up Thanksgiving weekend to do a final inspection.
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    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbo View Post
    Thanks for the report. I don't know why I wanted to see this get done so much. I'm very glad to hear they're working on the bridge! I hope the rain forecast for this weekend doesn't hold them up. Please do a followup visit or Hummm! Maybe I'll plan to come up Thanksgiving weekend to do a final inspection.
    Ray, just like you, I'm also happy to see that they're working on this bridge which is such a vital link into the Presidential Range Dry River Wilderness. It will be nice to forego the sometimes disconcerting rock-hopping across the Dry River that we've all had to do during the many years that this bridge has been out of commission.

    Regarding the weather, they might not be able to get much done this rainy weekend (assuming they work weekends?), but the forecast for next week is looking great, at least for the moment!

    I hope you're able to come up during the Thanksgiving weekend to do a final inspection, especially since I won't be hiking during that weekend or the days leading up to it due to family obligations.

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