Summer 2009
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Beaver Brook - December 27, 2009
Activity and report by Ken L.

Ugh!  Rain and drizzle were the order of the least the morning.  So with that wet weather forecast, Your Webmaster moved the start time of the walk through Beaver Brook to the afternoon.  Unfortunately those who had intended to come along thought better of it due to the weather, and maybe they were right...

Maple Hill Farm...foggy and drizzly

Fog and drizzle greeted Your Webmaster at the new start time for the activity.  But it was warm, and the forecast was for clearing.  So on went the boots for walking through the slush and over the icy trails.

The footing was a little slick in parts, especially where the trail was packed down.  But there was a lot of water and slush, and there were plenty of bare spots, so the waterproof boots did OK without crampons.

For those who may not know, Beaver Brook is an area of conservation land in Hollis, New Hampshire, which is next to Nashua.  There are miles of trails that are great for walking, biking, snowshoeing, x-c skiing, and giving your pup some exercise.  Bird watchers and photographers love the place, too.  Beaver Brook has something for everyone.

<-- Well, unfortunately, the people who like teepees might have a bit of a letdown thanks to the heavy snow, but I'm sure they'll set this one right eventually.

Your Webmaster wandered from the Maple Hill Farm to the Brown Lane Barn and from there spied an unfamiliar trail on one of the newer trail maps:  Love Lane to Howe Meadow.  It looked like a nice loop, and it'd finally get Your Webmaster up on the big hill near the Brown Lane Barn.

Love Lane leads to the end of the Beaver Brook property and "The Lodge", which seems to be a newly built structure for conventions and maybe some overnights...something a bit more fancy than a hiker needing a place to hang his hat for the night, I think, but I'm not sure.  So I turned right at the lodge and followed an old road to Howe Meadow.

...and it was about then that the blue skies began to appear!

Water and trees near Howe Meadow
(click for a larger image)

Sure enough, the sun made a spectacular appearance:

The sun out, the temperatures warm, the fog on the snow slowly burning was really amazing.

From the Howe Meadow Trail there's a new trail with a million switchbacks (not that I mind :-) ), and it leads back to Brown Lane and the Brown Lane Barn.

A stop at the gazebo near the Brown Lane Barn

As it was starting to get a little late, it was time to head back to the Maple Hill Farm, and I arrived there just as the sun was setting behind the hill.

Dusk at Maple Hill Farm


North Pack - September 29, 2009
Activity and report by Ken L.

Another trip to North Pack in southwestern New Hampshire!  Your Webmaster didn't get any takers, which is rather a shame, since it was a beautiful fall day.

Instead of heading up Ted's Trail, Your Webmaster decided to head up to the Wapack Trail for the way up and return via Ted's Trail.  So it was a bit of a walk up the road from the trailhead for Ted's Trail to the Wapack.

The views were great!

<-- Cairn at the top of North Pack

Mt. Monadnock -->

Part of the reason for choosing Ted's Trail was to see the results of the ice damage from the 2008-2009 winter season.  As you recall from our earlier trip report, Ted's Trail had extensive ice damage and was nearly impassable.  I'm delighted to report that some good souls went along Ted's Trail and hacked out the major bits of debris.  You can now make your way along the trail.

Ted's Trees

A cleared trail

Cool Shrooms

I think that was the first time I wandered down Ted's Trail.  However you tackle this small hill, it's always a great hike to some nice views!

Nubanusset and Spoonwood Kayaking - August 3, 2009
Activity and report by Randy & Pam
Nubanusset and Spoonwood Lakes in Hancock, NH were the explored by the GONewEngland expeditionary force on Sunday, August 3. Nubanusett Lake is a 300+ acre extra clean lake that supports all types of boating but not jet skis. Veteran kayak event leader Jim joined hosts Randy and Pam for an afternoon on the water.

After the "group before" photo op, we launched into the bottom of the lake chop and headed toward calm water.

Soon, in a becalmed water finger just beyond a pair of reclusive loons, we found the bald eagle nesting site.

We couldn't see the eagle, but the chicks did make a ruckus.

Nubanusset is fed by Spoonwood Lake via a waterfall.

This photo (At the top of the portage)

shows the portaged kayaks waiting for paddlers.

The upper lake was dammed in the mid 1800's for additional water for the Nelson Machine Works (thank you Jim for the history note) and has NO development on its shores. Since a portage is the only way to get to the lake, there are no power boats, and wildlife is attracted by the quiet.

Back in the boats, Jim is dry and leaving land.

Today on Spoonwood Lake we didn't see much more than woods, hills and an excellent sand beach for lunch. We took a lesser known second portage from the far end of Spoonwood Lake that took us to the far end of Nabanusett Lake again. This time we paddled down the full length of the lake passing more friendly loons,

and at long a last, one of the bald eagles flew across the lake - far from the nest and landed in a tree.

Photos do not do justice to the size or majesty of these birds. Twenty more minutes of paddling took us to the launch were we retrieved the boats to their racks and headed home.

Mt. Tecumseh - June 27, 2009
Activity and report by Ken
Photos by Sandy and Ken
Mt. Tecumseh is a 4000 footer (barely--it's 4003') in Waterville Valley, NH.  It can be climbed from Tripoli Road or from the trailhead at Parking Lot #1 of the Waterville Valley downhill ski area off Route 49.  Sandy and Your Webmaster chose to take the 2.2 mile Mt. Tecumseh Trail from the ski area parking lot.

We lucked out with the weather!  Expecting anything from showers to thunder, we got clouds with some sun here and there.

Ahh, what a nice trail...nice and flat.  The trail follows a brook for a little while, then turns in to the woods and crosses a small brook at a nice glade.

How pleasant!

Then a trail sign invited us to check out a view, and we took the trail sign up on its offer:


There was some neat rockfall caves along the way...

...and even some nice flowers!

But then...

...we encountered THE WRATH OF SANDY!

After the "nice view" from the ski slope, the trail immediately starts up...and it doesn't let up.  This is a 2.2 mile trail with a change in elevation of about 2100'.  From the start we'd been walking for maybe 3/4 of a mile or more without much of a slope, so all that altitude had to be made up somewhere!  Sure enough, the Mt. Tecumseh Trail became a constant uphill for most of the remaining trail.

(Yeah, Sandy was lookin' at me...<gulp!>)

Fortunately after slogging for a while we did hit the ridge to the summit...

...ummm, yeah, eventually we worked it out.


We got in a bit of lunch (shared with the abundant black flies--who didn't even say THANK YOU) and saw some decent, albeit limited, views from the wooded summit.

On the return we detoured to the Sosman Trail which leads across the ridge to a communications tower at the top of the ski area.  We backtracked to the Mt. Tecumseh Trail and made it down to the cars.  Dins at a local tavern was most welcome!

Another 4K to check off...that makes two for Sandy so far this season!  Great job!