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Thread: The Dickens trip - Oct. 4-10 2014

  1. #1
    Senior Member marnof's Avatar
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    The Dickens trip - Oct. 4-10 2014

    I enjoy camping on the Kanc during leaf season each year, but this particular year I had to will myself into going. I overnighted in Weare first, and caught a great sunrise before heading up to the Whites.

    DSC00792 by cubist11, on Flickr
    Sunrise on the Uncanoonucs

    I had reserved my favorite tent site in the Covered Bridge Campground earlier in the year, and arrived to a mostly empty, very peaceful campground. On arrival, I texted home, saying I doubted I would stay long, since my heart was not in it. I ended up staying for 5 days, and had a neighbor for only one of those days.

    DSC00848 by cubist11, on Flickr
    Sun peeking through clouds on Albany Covered Bridge

    I had designs on backpacking out to Thirteen Falls camp, but lost motivation before long. Cell coverage can be spotty there, but I received word that my sister had lost her long battle with leiomyosarcoma. I could fill a few pages here about her -- her boundless compassion, free spirit and dedication to helping people.

    Ann - Hubbard Pk by cubist11, on Flickr
    Never one to complain of her condition, she hiked Hubbard Park in CT with us after a hip replacement, with a cane. Such a trooper.

    RocketGirl by cubist11, on Flickr
    One of my favorite pics of her, ca. 1989 in Seattle

    Now if I wasn't depressed enough, rain soon arrived, and my Explorer decided to break down. I did manage to get in contact with ImporTech in Conway. They fixed it -- same day! -- and got me going again. If moderators will allow a small plug, these people are incredibly friendly, helpful and do great work. It really meant a lot to me at that time, how well they treated me. I'm very thankful.

    I had read (through Steve Smith) about the Moats, and about smoky quartz, and decided to combine those elements into a hike/bike/rockhounding trip. I stashed my bike up towards Red Ridge and checked out the mineral collecting site on the way.

    DSC00917 by cubist11, on Flickr

    The next day I road walked to the S. Moat trailhead and enjoyed a beautiful hike up to South and Middle Moat and then down Red Ridge to my bike in the woods, then back to camp. There is so much great mountain biking in this area. I definitely plan on exploring more of this in the future.

    DSC00822 by cubist11, on Flickr
    Looking back over South Moat

    DSC00820 by cubist11, on Flickr

    DSC00834 by cubist11, on Flickr
    Heading down Red Ridge Trail, looking back at Middle Moat. This trail was a blast to come down fast.

    DSC00837 by cubist11, on Flickr
    More prime leaf peeping from Red Ridge Trail

    I'd often seen, but never hiked the 3 mile r/t Boulder Loop near Covered Bridge. This can be a busy hike, but I caught it in the morning, around 9am, just as rain was ending. I had the summit ledges to myself and came back down through the massive boulders the same way, since the loop seemed to peter out on top near the ledges.

    DSC00862 by cubist11, on Flickr
    Boulder Loop ledges

    The Albany Covered Bridge itself can get extremely congested. More than once I was stuck, waiting as busloads of tourists ambled about on the bridge, taking photos, chatting -- oblivious to the fact that they're in the middle of an actual road and cars are backed up on both sides of the bridge. It didn't bother me at that point, though. I had to laugh.

    I made a small side-trip to North Sugarloaf and saw some nice sights. After that, I decided to cut my camping trip short and return home.

    DSC00872 by cubist11, on Flickr
    Sharing North Sugarloaf with an arachnid

    DSC00881 by cubist11, on Flickr
    Great view to the southeast, cloudy to the north

    To paraphrase Dickens, I had the best, and worst of times. I am, though, looking forward to doing this again in the future. This is where I've found solace, and a degree of consolation over the past few difficult years. The mountains do soothe the troubled heart and soul.
    Last edited by marnof; 10-22-2014 at 06:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for posting, very moving. And excellent photos.

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