Monday, May 23, 2011

Wonalancet Hedgehog, Hibbard and Wonalancet Mountians 5/22/11

Not wanting to stay home a second day this past weekend I decided to do a short loop over a 3K I needed to hit for my NH3K list. Wonalancet Hedgehog. I did this loop counter clockwise using Old Mast Rd., Walden Tr., and Wonalancet Range trails. Roughly a 6 mile loop. I started out from Ferncroft on the Old Mast Rd. around 10:00am.
I came across my first wild flower very near the trail head. A common Wild Violet covered with beads of mist.
I next crossed a small bridge spanning Spring Brook. I'd have to stop there at the end and take a walk up the brook for some photos.
This was not the type of weather I was hoping to do this loop in but the wetness was making the colors pop. especially the greens of the newly foliated hardwoods.
I started seeing dozens of  Painted Trillium. Many of which were wilted by the amount of moisture on them but plenty that were picture worthy.
I soon entered the Sandwich Range Wildness.

As I gained elevation on Old Mast Rd. the fog started to get a thicker adding to mysteriousness of the forest on this day.
I'm not sure why but I didn't see any Wake Robin Trillium until I got a little higher in elevation. And most were starting to show signs of being past peak. I did manage to find a couple intact. 
I was now at the junction with the Walden Tr. I'd be taking a left here and heading for Wonalancet Hedgehog.
This trail started out with relatively easy grades but soon became quite steep. And to add to the difficulty on this day, sections of wet ledge.
I came to a sign about 100 feet before the summit pointing to the views. There would be none today. Very disappointing for this views whore.
After checking out the non-views, I headed for the summit. Which is basically where this large boulder sits. I was told, (had views been possible today), it's not worth climbing to see more.
No point in sticking around here so off for the Wonalancet Range Tr. Which I came to about 15 minutes after leaving the summit.
This was a pretty section of woods and a fairly interesting trail.
The next stop would be Mt Hibbard for 52WAV. But since this list is compiled of mountains with views, I'm not sure I can cross it off my list since there were none. What do you think?
Well, it was off to that last summit of the day, Wonalancet. About .4 miles before the summit I came across this sign. Frankly, I wish I saw many more of these signs when hiking. :-) Yes, it does say short-cut. I could have just taken said short-cut since there would be nothing different to see on Wonalancet but I just stuck with the plan.
I passed over the summit of Wonalancet and started my descent. I came to a section of ledge that would have afforded views but my concern was how wet and steep it was. It took some doing, but I managed to past it staying on my feet.
The rest of the Wonalancet Range trail was much of the same, Steep. rocky, rooty and wet. It was slow going for the next mile.
Once back to lower elevation I was in the Trillium garden again. I know they all seem to look the same but there's always that subtle difference that makes it picture worthy for me.
Nearing the end of the I went off trail and down a small ravine to where Spring Brook was. This is one of my most common things I do when hiking. I hear a brook, I go find it. 
After that, it was a short trip back to the car. I would have liked to have had the views but a lone walk in the woods always has it's rewards

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