I was on board for Cascade, and managed to convince the guys to hit Hayes via the beginning of the Mahoosuc, and also to take in Dream Lake for a long day. After spotting a car at the Peabody Brook trailhead, Greg thought we should try driving up Hayes Road to the trailhead instead of adding in a mile-plus via Rt. 16. Sure, why not? Bumps, ruts, washed out culverts. That's why not. Ah well. Greg's Civic bottomed out a few times with the three of us rockheads in there, and at one point I wondered if we had missed it. Nope, it's just a long, slow drive. I was dreading having to bring my car up here, but in retrospect, definitely driven on worse.
So, arriving at the dam, let the lunacy begin.
Not far along, we took the side trail to Mascot Pond. Very nice with a view to Madison and Adams.
Back on the Mahoosuc Trail, we came to a logging road and Greg knew the way to Leadmine Ledge, so we took another side trip. Again, well worth it, with views to the Crescents and Randolph, as well as the Moriah/Carter ranges.
We trudged our way up to Hayes, and I was happy to take this way up, with a grand view of the Moriahs, Carters, Presis and Gorham.
More importantly, Greg, aka Eagle Eyes saw our post-hike destination, Mr. Pizza.
It was a great walk over to the true summit of Hayes, with ledgey walking and a fantastic mature softwood forest.
We hit the junction and got nice views to the Whitcombs and Muise.
I won't mention those f'ing wind towers. Down to the col, then a bit of a grind heading up Cascade, but the woods were sweet.
We hit the Cascade ledges, nice views here, too.
Also, a nice look back at Hayes. Yeah, those were nice woods!
Coming off Cascade we ran into various degrees of muck. And yet more nice woods.
On the ledges on the far side of Cascade, we ran into the guys that were leaving from the Peabody Brook Trail. Holy crap, they were making good time. Next up Trident Pass, with some nice ledges.
And next up Page Pond. I had been warned about Wocket Ledge being steep, which wasn't concerning me, but Greg mentioned his ankle or leg was feeling a little sore, and coming up the pond, I was finally starting to tire. Thinking about 4 extra miles to see Dream Lake vs. taking a logging road directly down was falling out of favor for me. Greg was fine with continuing, my fake concern for him was a convenient excuse. ;-) But first things first, Page Pond.
The old trail (snowmo, I think) now logging road has been obliterated by beaver activity up high, so a little whacking brought us to the road, wet at first, then drying out at a clearing.
Down the road to the trail and out. Then a bumpy ride which Greg apparently didn't like my speed over the bumps. Not my fault I have decent clearance! Saw some pickups heading up with quizzical looks, not a one returned my waves. Nice, real nice. Never mind that, Mr. Pizza! Damned fine grinder. Damned fine day!