From New Hampshire

summit

Mt Hedgehog

My legs are still sore and stiff from climbing to Mt Washington Summit so we decided to hike up to smaller mountain ,Mt Hedgehog .which was 2500 ft .When we first parked the car and went to  start walking were getting bitten by heaps of mosquitoes so we drove to the shops and got some mosquito repellent. Like yesterday the hike was straight up hill but not as rocky but again we had a hot day so we were hot and sweaty! There is a category 2 Hurricane {cyclone} along the east coast  with 100 miles per hour winds and its edge is likely to produce heavy  rain in our area in the next 2 days.

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Mt Washington

Woke up to the usual clear warm days we have been having , but we knew at some stage today the thunderstorms were on their way . Got going early making the drive of 12 miles from Jackson to Pinkham’s Notch . After purchasing a map from the visitor’s centre we hit the trail to the summit of Mt Washington. the trail starts innocently enough but the stones soon give way to rocks. After a breif stop to view the waterfall at crystal cascades we continued on our way passing a European family of 4. Soon the track kicks up but basically your walking on rocks with the pine and elm forest on either side , and it is wide so there are no navigation issues . After hitting 4500ft at the shelters near “Hermit’s” we continue up the route called Tuckerman Ravine. Soon the trees lose height and we enter the Alpine area . The trail narrows and becomes a , stair climb , rock scramble up a steep slope next to snow and at times water running down the track .The markers which are yellow marks painted on the rocks are at times hard to see and the end of the ravine is marked when we finally cross over the stream. The end of the walk now is a steep climb across bare rocks with rock cairns marking the way . Finally we reach the top a climb of 4000ft in just on 3 hours .
After eating our  lunch that we brought with us ,in the summit building we head back down . At the first half mile we make a decision to go down the Lion Head route , mainly to avoid the steep exposed descent down the ravine. The descent at first is easier but the last portion is a steep narrow descent , where we sometimes have to resort to going down backwards. We hit Hermit lake again and continue the final portion down the route we came up .The descent takes just on 3 hours . We meet a couple with 2 daughters in their late teens who we had met at the crossing of the ravine who were on the way down having turned well short of the summit . They are impressed that we made it to the summit and down the lion head route .The thunder starts and within in hour it is pouring rain – guess their will be some wet souls on the mountain .

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White Mountains

Started off with breakfast at StJohn’s then started the drive to the “White Mountains” area of New Hampshire. After crossing the several bridges out of the port , our route took us past Lake Sebago , which is one of the many large lakes up here . The countryside is just green with tall trees and thick foliage . After passing out of Maine and back into New Hampshire we stopped at the ranger’s office in Conway for information on walks in the area . From there we continued on the Kancomagus highway making our first stop at covered bridge campground . From there we took the Boulder loop trail which ascended around 1000ft to some great  vistas of the area . After descending we went further along the highway and took another hike up to Champney falls . After descending we drove to our accommodation at Jackson , clearly not the one Johnny Cash sang about , stopping en route at North Conway for supplies . We are staying at the wildcat Inn , which is relatively cheap and no frills and intend hiking to the summit of Mt Washington the morning , weather permitting .

Portsmouth NH and Portland Maine

First 5 weeks we were in the RV which was at times frightening on the winding narrow roads then, the next 4 weeks we’ve been in cities and flying, train and occasional bus ride now we have hired a Ford Fiesta ! We drove from Boston to Portland via Portsmouth for lunch. We’ve been confused about what direction to go ’cause there is so much to see  but after talking with Anne Manning we’ve decided to go north then across! The drive on  on the highway was great and getting out of Boston was made not too difficult with the GPS! On either side of the highway there are great mixture of full grown trees. We took the Portsmouth exit which is a scenic seaside town which has the usual double story weatherboard pastel houses and also quite winding narrow roads. Along the waters edge there are houses so we found it difficult to find a public space to have our picnic but finally after driving around found the common where we had  to pay to park the car. The entry varied according to age; over 65 was cheaper the guy looked at us and said ” 2 seniors”, we said yes thanks! Having grey hair is helpful sometimes! About three times on the train I’ve had guys gets up and give me their seat but generally they are the ones with the old fashioned manners who are older than me! After a picnic in he park overlooking the scenic entrance to Portsmouth and observing the lobster boats in action , we continued on our way.
Coming into Portland we got a room at the Inn at St John’s . The main town is set on a small peninsula about 2 1/2 miles long. We walked down to the town to the waterfront then up past the east end to a scenic path before coming back to the waterfront for lobster rolls for dinner . The port and the coast are protected by a large number of islands and looks like it would be a great place to sail , though navigation might be tricky.