The Success Trail started innocently enough, looking untrampled, but this was a clever guise to what waited ahead. It was a steady climb to the Overlook, which on a looping spur trail, and gives great views, notably to the west. It was very windy today, but at least it was keeping the bugs away. Right in front of our face was the large cliffs of N. Baldcap, which Brian and I immediately started drooling and planning routes to the top. Not a 3k peak, but certainly dramatic enough for some good views.
We passed by an old lumber camp, passed over a number of bog bridges, which were mostly dry. There was some muck, so I can't imagine what it's like when it's normal or wet up here. We came to a couple of patches of snow. Yuck. We finally came to Success, which has great 360 degree views. We were hazed/smoked in today, thanks to the fires up in Quebec, but the Presis, Weeks, Pliny, Moriah and Carter ranges were evident, as were the Percys. Worth returning to on a clear day.
Next stop was the site of a 1954 DC-3 crash on the south side of Success. None of us with GPS's bothered to put in the coordinates, so we ended up on the south bump before realizing we must be too far. Backtracking, Brian pointed out the herd trail he mentioned, and it was clear this led far enough in to be the right one. We came to the AT boundary, followed it south and were quickly at the site where some other people were scrounging around. I looked at the back fuselage, which is the main picture everyone takes, and started wandering off downhill. I found bits and pieces and the right wing furthest down, obviously the first point of impact. Then a piece of the tail section, then the rear fuselage and left wing. Ahead of that was collapsed metal and pieces and a large boulder which may have crushed the front. Apparently, much of the "good stuff" has been carted away, so I found nothing recognizable as being the cockpit.
Backtracking up to Success and to the Mahoosuc Trail junction, including one 12 foot ledge that we came down earlier. Getting up was a heck of a lot easier. Lots more bog bridges. The Mahoosuc Trail was a series of mind-numbing ups and downs, and a couple of very steep and high ledges, the worst being right by the Carlo Col Trail. Here there were some neat rock caves, which Bob climbed down into.
At the junction, Desi decided to head down, while the rest of us would go on to Carlo. The distance was short, but it was at the point of seeming to take forever to get up a somewhat steep grade. Coming out at the summit, the views weren't as good as Success, but good enough, especially a close view of Goose Eye. Here, Bob and Russ decided to go to Goose Eye, but it was beyond what I was willing to do at that point. The PUDs had beat me up, and I was ready to go. So Joe, Greg, Brian and I headed back to the Carlo Col trail and down from there. A quick check of the shelter, a very bouldery (but PUD free!) trail, and finally we came to a more earthy trail, eventually coming to a clear cut. Brian hated this, Joe loved it, I had mixed feelings. Seeing the young birches and brush, as well as views was pretty cool, the slash piles were ugly. But, it is private land, and it is their right to do what they please, and I respect that. I did wonder if the landowner was trying to get rid of this pesky trail though.
We caught up with Desi, the trail went back into the woods, and we came out to a road and a car. Ouch. Suddenly everyone wished we had spotted a car here with about 3/4 of a mile left. We finally arrived at the cars, where Una Dogger had left a message in the dust on Brian's car, and went back to the Success TH. The rest would wait for Bob and Russ, but my wife and daughter were hoping to go out that night, so I was trying to beat feet back home.
Interesting hike, great views, superb company!