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Thread: Lunch at Zeta Pass

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stash's Avatar
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    Smile Lunch at Zeta Pass

    I was planning on a “destination hike” I'd done a few years ago. Up Nineteen Mile Brook and Carter Dome Trail, across Carter Moriah to pick up Mounts Height and Carter Dome, down the notch to the hut and back out Nineteen Mile. Eight or nine hours book time and I can usually move a bit faster than book so, as long as I got a reasonable start it shouldn’t be a problem.

    I was on my way by 5:30 Saturday morning. With stops for coffee and Pinkham to gear up I was at the trail by 8:30 Plenty of time to get back down to the car by the 4-something sunset. Worst case would be a headlight walk out Nineteen Mile.

    This was my first snowy hike this season and I think I’d forgotten how nice it was to walk in the snow. Even though there was only an inch or so on the trail the difference from my last hike down a rocky Lyons Head was noticeable. No jolting steps, carefully picking foot placement. Just a smooth walk with more and more of the crevices filled and more of a pad under foot as I worked my way along the brook. The rough week I’d had dealing with year-end project requirements exited my thoughts and I started to notice how those amazing ice formations are starting to form on the brook. The pace with which I usually walk slowed and I spent more and more and more time stopped to take pictures or just to admire the view from well below the top.

    I hit Carter Dome Trial with enough time to still complete the loop but kept about the same pace up to Zeta Pass. The snow was getting deeper and even more comfortable for walking. I found myself spending time at the crossings just looking up and down the streams watching the water flow over and under the ice. The destination was starting to change. By the time I got to Zeta Pass it was a bit after 11. I could probably still make the loop but I figured I’d stop for lunch and enjoy the area. Zeta pass is a pretty place. Likely a wonderful place to camp. Too nice. Which is no doubt by they’ve got those no camping signs there. But there was no reason I couldn’t clear off that little rail near one of the trail signs, sit down and enjoy my lunch. So I sat there enjoying the silence with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Noticing that the distance to Carter Dome is 1.2 miles on one of the trail signs and 1.5 on the other directly across from it (taking Carter Moriah over Height or going directly via Carter Dome). Noticing that the snow is starting to make the branches on the pines hang lower. Deciding that I really didn’t really need to go that 1.2 or 1.5 miles to Carter Dome to make this day. This hike would be just fine as far as I got and even better if I spent a little more time along the brook on the way back.

    So that’s what I did. I took a relaxed walk on the way back. Stopping to chat with a few folks on the way including a 61 year old gentleman who agreed that the best way to stay young was to just get out there.

    5.8 miles. Not a long hike but thoroughly enjoyable. I’ll head back after the holiday and will probably make it at least up to Carter Dome. The last time I was there was a bit overcast and I’d like to get some pictures on a sunny day. But I’ll bet I can enjoy it with an overcast too.

    A few of the many pictures taken
    Last edited by Stash; 12-19-2010 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Added pics
    Stash

    What matters is what I do. Not what they do.

    Hiking Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35709829@N08/

  2. #2
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
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    Nice report. I too enjoy just taking a walk sometimes.
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

  3. #3
    Junior Member MischiefWinter's Avatar
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    Sometimes...

    ...it's not about the distance you travel or the intensity of the terrain. Sometimes the beauty of hiking is just getting out there and seeing that which is around you. Returning home after an arduous hike that tested your skill and pushed your body no doubt leaves one with a sense of accomplishment. But there is a quiet satisfaction to be had from a hike like this, something that is just as valuable as any physical exertion, a heightened sense of clarity and a brief glimpse of inner peace. I'm glad that you enjoyed your day Stash.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Splendid! Thanks for sharing this, Stash.

    As much as the next person, I enjoy hikes to lofty summits and ledges, but I find the type of hike you just described to be equally enjoyable. As with any sport, the more you do it, the more you begin to appreciate its finer points.

    Also, it's just my opinion, but I think there is a certain element about this type of hike that is an acquired taste . . . much the same way that we acquire a taste for certain foods & beverages in adulthood that we once found distasteful in our youth.

  5. #5
    Member Pulker Pete's Avatar
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    Hike in the woods ...

    The older you get the more you realize ... its about the journey and what you see and enjoy. Summits are nice if you can add them too ! Just like the hike we did last year ... just pure enjoyment as long as you don't lose your nice ski poles.



    Pete Hutchings



    Central Ct




    "Its about the journey. Summiting is not necessarily the goal on every hike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I as most here like to climb summits, but someday's, the effort required is not there. Some of my best day's, are just exploring the forest. I collect beaver sticks, I make hiking sticks and believe it or not crucifixes out of them. There are many beaver colonies along the Kanc and I visit alot of them, to walk with no trail and just be in the woods with all its sights and sounds can be a very rewarding day. Its also amazing what you find out there, with all the logging and early settlements along the Kanc its a treasure trove of strange things. Disclaimer, I have always left anything I find that is not natural, I figure the rusty old bucket used god knows when, woud be just as cool for the next person to see and its part of the history that should be presearved for all. By the way i agree Zeta pass is a cool place, didnt mean to hyjack the thread.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BobC's Avatar
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    Nice report Stash. I like Zeta Pass too, it's a nice place to stop and take a break.

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