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It being the start of foliage season in NH I was anxious to go peep some leaves.

Having been out to Zealand and a few other places, it looked like the foliage this year was either really late or just plain blah for some reason. Seemed like that was all the conversational buzz in North Conway ... that the foliage was kind of not what was expected so far.

Couldn't do anything about blah, but late ... the remedy for that is to go farther north. Hmmm ... maybe Waumbek ... Starr king Trail ...

Sunday I had a chance meeting with Tom Ryan  ( and I was very pleased to see Atticus too - he's getting pretty grey but was sitting up straight in the passenger seat Smile)

and I mentioned I was considering Waumbek as a possibility ... he said the col between Waumbek and Starr King was one of his favorite trail sections. 

With a recommendation like that, the decision became much easier Smile

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Back before Sept 2011 we were trail adopters of the Rocky Branch Trail between Shelters # 1 and 2. This was one of the lesser-traveled trails in the Whites, and had been pretty neglected, except by the moose, and even they had let quite a lot of the trail get brushed in.

We did quite a lot of brushing and clearing of blowdowns and drainages, and had the trail back in pretty good shape. Then along came Irene aka "the storm of 2011".


The RBT, like several other trails, roads, camps and houses, suffered serious damage. Our section of trail was closed; in fact I think it was a year or two before the section from Jericho Rd to Shelter 1 ( a much more frequently used section) was reopened.

Odd to think that we were sad - I mean, sad over what had become a significant chunk of work? But, yes, we missed the trail.

There have been rumors of the WMNF reopening the trail for a while, then a SOPA, then we heard work had started.  A couple of weeks ago we had a chance meeting with Bailey, the ranger in charge of the RBT rehab, and she told us it was open again!

So ... obviously, we had to plan for a trip to see how the rehab had worked out...
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So after weeks of relatively short hikes - if any - I got a chance to head for something higher.

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But I didnt want something too hard, and I was anxious to get a foliage check ... haven't been up Hale, had heard there was one stellar view, and could stop at Zealand hut on the way. Cookies?  ...

It's important to have a good map , and a good trail description can be very helpful too.

But the AMC White Mountain Guide is too heavy to pack ... so I thought I'd just take a picture of the Greenleaf Trail  description as I packed for a trip up Mt Lafayette.

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But ... Mt Lafayette is not anywhere near Rowe and Gunstock in the Belknaps! You say?

Oh! That's right ... well, when I got up and thought about getting back in time to feed the cats I realized Lafayette was probably not a smart choice Undecided

A nice Belknap loop would give me plenty of time, though ....

A hike up Mt Clinton (aka 'Pierce') - part training exercise, part sanity check and part just fun :)

Crawford Path -> Mizpah Cutoff -> Webster Cliff Trail -> Crawford Path

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TLV and the Chocolatessa have a planned trip to Lakes of the Clouds; but neither has been doing a lot of hiking lately.

Are they up to it?

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