It was time to get a couple leftovers up in the Dixville area done and over with, as winter approached. A long logging road drive would make the first peak very interesting should the roads close. And so, we drove up the now familiar Corser Brook Road to overcast skies, and turned onto Four Mile Brook Road from there. The now also familiar logging landing was there, except there was a 75 foot long mud puddle in the road. Uh oh. It looked ok for my little Elantra until I was already in it where it got maybe 15” deep. Nothing to do except keep moving as steadily as possible. No problem, but the car gained a mudbath, and the top 3” of the mud were now scraped off.
We pulled up to the now expected washout on Four Mile Brook Road, where an older fellow was checking it out. He had Florida plates, but after chatting for about 5 seconds, it was clear he was a local. He warned us the moose hunters would likely be where we were going, which was fine by me, I had my orange hat, and we're usually plenty loud.
Now, how to get across the bridge. It was knocked off it's support on the near end, slick with frost, and plummeting to the brook on the right side. With some care, I made it. Good thing, the brook was running well, with no obvious crossing otherwise. Greg's a little crazier than I.
We hiked a mile up. It was clear it was going to be another silly day.
We then turned on an ATV route/logging road heading towards the pond, and W. Tucker. We got good views west towards the NW and Middle Crystal peaks.
After a while, we finally decided to head up and quickly stumbled on a logging road heading up in the right direction. From there we turned NE, and made to the summit, where some ledges were hiding. Surprising if you look at the map.
A quick summit, and then we hit the logging road and followed it, coming out on the ATV route just above where we left. The sun started peeking out! We're used to rain. Back to the muddy car where Brian had some fun while we all laughed our butts off.
Next up, Cave. After being thwarted on Dixie Brook Road last time, we headed up Flume Brook Road from the south off of Rt. 26. I forgot to reset my odometer, and desperately unfolded my map and checked it out. BAM! What the hell. BAM! “Miiiiiiiiike!” Oh crap, culverts. BAM! “Let me navigate!” Oh, ok. I knew Ethan had issues getting up here, but made it to a blockage at about a mile. I took each dip in the road very gently, eventually passing some ATV'ers, who looked a little dumbfounded that this car was up here. Can't say I blame them.
We came to a hill, and I had to stop to check it out. Hmmm, I guess. The second drainage ditch stopped me, as I had to go right, near a ditch on the side, and the wheels spun on gravel. Not risking it! We had made it 1.3 miles, so that saved us a good 2 ˝ miles of walking. Good enough. It was a quick walk up, and the woods around there were GORGEOUS.
We spotted the new road for the wind turbines on Dixville, but also spied a new meteorological tower on our side of Rice. I was surprised by this, as this was granted last year, but they shortly withdrew an application for a wind farm. Hmmm. From the col, we climbed up to the ridge easily enough, popping in and out of logging cuts. We hit a short thick wall of fir and skirted back and forth after that to stay in the open moss woods.
We came to the summit, hung for a bit, trying Greg's corn nuts, along with an immense amount of double entendres. We headed down a little more on the ridge with no real problems. A truck was parked up here now. Wish I had a truck. Then it rained. Of course, why shouldn't it. But it was short and we were treated to a double rainbow, of course, making fun of the YouTube video the whole time. Brian “soldiered” on down the road. A great day overall, and I was a bit sad to now be leaving this region until list's end, but I already have a few other hikes planned here just for the fun of it. Soon enough.