Overnight Stay at Gray Knob - March 16, 2024

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Rhody Seth

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Charlestown, RI
I spent last weekend in the northern Presidentials. Drove up on Friday, parked at the Appalachia trailhead and hiked in the woods a ways for a quick night out.



The next morning I met up with friends at Lowe's Path and we took it up to Gray Knob. We arrived just in time to secure sleeping pads for the night and then we continued on to summit Mt. Adams. While it didn't feel like winter down low, it certainly did up at the top. Mild temps alleviated the wind and other than a few visibility issues I had a fine hike up.

Descending was another story as I have a torn meniscus in my left knee which ached terribly on the way down. We stopped at Camp Crag to rest for a bit before continuing on to Gray Knob. The evening was fun but I was beat and crashed early. We left the hut in a snow storm which abated as we descended. The knee got worse as I went down and I was very glad when we finally reached the trailhead. Not the wisest decision to hike in my condition but I was pleased to complete Mt. Adams for my winter NH48 list #36.

 
Thanks for sharing your journey. Winter is so beautiful and harsh at the same time. Sorry the knee is hurting, and wishing you all the best for the upcoming surgery you mentioned.
 
Thanks for sharing your journey. Winter is so beautiful and harsh at the same time. Sorry the knee is hurting, and wishing you all the best for the upcoming surgery you mentioned.
Enjoyed your video, Seth. The cabin looked cozy! Good luck with your upcoming knee surgery. Hope that you're back on the trails again soon.

Thanks all. Had the surgery yesterday morning and it seemed to go well. I can walk around with soreness but no pain. Time to head back to PT!
 
Looks like you picked a good time to get the repair done during mud season. Look forward to future videos.

Some Gray Knob and Lowes comments. Lowes Path is scheduled for some major attention from the trail crew this summer. I think I heard that it is on the lower end. If the trail crew is moving in, some fine rock work will follow. To long term visitors to the area, the former Lowes Cabins and the adjacent home which has been surrounded by No Trespassing signs on the north side of Durand Road is scheduled to be removed this summer. The house and cabins have been abandoned for years and slowly collapsing. No changes at the store or the surrounding buildings on the south side of Durand Road at this point.

The Gray Knob experience was changed several years ago by the need to heat it 24/7 to above freezing temps. The former approach of only heating it in the evening around supper was causing moisture to condense inside the walls leading to potential rotting and mold. Thanks to the new stove and the biobricks they haul up yearly, the moisture problem appears to be under control. That has raised the cost of the night's stay up but it needed to be done. It was mentioned at a RMC event last year that the club is considering setting up a reservation system for the cabins in the future but I have not heard any details of when or how. At $30 bucks a night for members and $50 for non members, its worth joining the club which can be done on line. The club is a small non profit and is responsible for a large trail network and keeping a pro crew that actually does high quality rock work is expensive.

Randolph will be having many events this summer into the Fall celebrating the 200th anniversary of the town. It will probably not impact RT 2 but Durand Road may be impacted on occasion. After the big rebuild last summer of half the road its a far more pleasant drive down the road.
 
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Lowes Path is scheduled for some major attention from the trail crew this summer. I think I heard that it is on the lower end. If the trail crew is moving in, some fine rock work will follow.
I always hated the lower sections of Lowes Path. Lot of mud, puddles and poor drainage. Tuning up this area will be a welcome development.
 
I am actually a bit disappointed if they do improvements to the path that diverts off the historical route that originally followed the ridge and stream down to the Bowman parking lot former train station). The formerly private land the old route followed is now owned by the Randolph Town Forest and RMC has a short path roughly on the old route to Rollo Falls a set of waterfalls that were on the old route. The Bowman lot has far more potential for permanent trailhead parking area due to the state owned railroad right of way and curb cut onto RT 2. It is also used as a public access point on the Cross NH trail bike trail.

I guess until the issue of what becomes of Lowes store is resolved, they are going to work on the lower trail in hopes that parking at Lowes will remain. Folks are parking at the trailhead these days on the south side of RT2 and it is not a great place to park as the shoulder drops off steeply.
 
Thanks all. Had the surgery yesterday morning and it seemed to go well. I can walk around with soreness but no pain. Time to head back to PT!
Hey Seth, great video as usual. Thanks.

OK to abuse that knee pre-procedure, but I urge you to go very easy on it post-procedure. Even with artho it can take months to get back to full strength. During that rehab it is prone to overuse injury.

I had a "buff and Flush" of a knee and four weeks afterward did a winter ascent of Jefferson. Hyper extended the knee on the snowshoe descent and was basically back to square one healing wise.

When I showed up at the Ortho to have the fluid drained after the hike I got the "I told you so you dumbass" lecture. That knee still aint right 15 yearss later.

Give it time my friend.
 
I followed much the same route as you up Adams back in 1997. Despite the passage of time, I recognized much of the trail from your video. We stayed at Crag Camp for two nights, planning to summit Adams on the middle day, but a storm moved in and we spent the day in the cabin (with a few trips up to treeline). We awoke to clear skies on Day 3, summited Adams, then walked out to the cars. Though unheated, we were quite comfy at Crag.
 
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