Knowing the forecast for the weekend, I wanted to avoid spring and go right into summer. So I made the decision to go do some exploring the Pemi down below snow line. Alas, my partner in crime wasnít so interested in this and was busy on Saturday, so I packed my summer pack for a solo trip, gleefully ditching a ton of winter gear, cutting my pack weight down to a featherweight 15 pounds, with water. Joy! The plan was to hit a couple of logging camps, a couple of rail branches, a possible viewpoint, some fishing, and whatever else hit the radar along the way. It proved fortuitous that I made this choice, as I broke out with a cold this week, and still wasnít quite right on Saturday. I was hoping some fresh air and exercise would be curative, and it seems to have helped. Plenty of rest? Pffft!
I set off from Lincoln Woods, and yes, stupid me made extra sure to pay the $3 fee. The Pemi was running high and LOUD, no longer due to the rain, but the copious snowmelt coming from on high (DIE SNOW, DIE!). The brooks were also, of course, was running quite strongly. Quite a lovely sight, making for a pleasant trip in.
Iíve never explored any of the camps before, and it was quite interesting. Just seeing the locations theyíre at was educational. I found a few artifacts (does a pull-top Schlitz can count as an artifact?), perhaps the most interesting was a sled runner. Another was a can with a fair bit of the lid gasket remaining. Please keep in mind disturbing or removing these items carries an extremely hefty fine and/or jail sentence. I followed one of the branch lines, through glorious open woods, only to lose it where the woods opened up even more and the terrain ahead got un-railroady. Heading off in a possible direction, I never spotted it again, but rambled up and down little drainages heading to another spot I knew it was, but couldnít spot this either. I headed off to follow it in the other direction to lose it again. No issue. I had it mapped out, so can return to try again. Treasure hunts arenít supposed to be easy.
The Potential Viewpoint
Some other time. It was about ľ mile west of Black Pond, and I was feeling the cold after going up and down so many times, so another climb wasnít appealing. I got some great views of the Osceolas, Scar Ridge, the Bonds, Whaleback and Flume, so no matter that I didnít get another. It does bring me to that stupid Black Pond Trail. I lost it coming and going in the same spot, of course with people right there to see my bumbling. On the way in, I just said to hell with it and bushwhacked on, no doubt with the guy thinking I was going to be the scorn of Union Leader comments. On the way out, I was trying to figure out how I lost it, resisting the easy way just to whack over to the LW trail. One of the guys coming out knew the trail, so led the way.
Franconia Falls and the Fish Are Safe Today
I donít think Iíve seen these before, and figured today was as good as any, so off I went, with the crowds slowly coming in and out. It was a pretty good show. I was standing on a 15 x 20í boulder and could feel the thrumming through my feet. I think the biggest highlight was the cool spray coming off the torrent since at this point it was HOT! Made me wish I was wearing shorts and short sleeves today.
I was going to fly fish in one of the streams, my main reason being Iím terrible at it, and embarrass easily around people I donít know. I was continuously checking them out on the way in, and saw nothing, but did manage to find a spot away from the trails on the Pemi that looked decent. Alas, I am still terrible at it, with much hilarity had anyone been around. I wouldnít normally mention it, but to me, it was a fun addition to a day of doing a bit of everything.
The Last Mile
I enjoyed the walk out on the Lincoln Woods Trail, until that point where you think you should be getting close only to find youíre still a mile away. It should be called the Green Mile. Dead man walking, indeed. I was just pulling out when I spotted Erin (ScenicNH). I had been wondering if Iíd bump into him yet again, and it was funny that another 30 seconds earlier I wouldíve missed him. We had a nice long chat about our day out and this and that, both of us sweltering at that point. The ice-cold beer when I got home tasted especially good. It was a great day and a great way to avoid mushy deep snow, and a good start to my summer hit list, on the 3rd day of April, no less.