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Miscellaneous chores and no deadline - late getting out again, but at 12.30 I was finally ready.

Being *that* late it was tempting to bail, but dammit, I needed to get out.

I was told just yesterday /

to rush and never waste the day


Gallery / slide show

So, off I blasted. Much to my surprise, there was a traffic jam on 93, massive slowdown from below 89 to exit 15 :(

Oh well ...

Fortunately, the jam was not a dead stop, and aside from the impatient ones bouncing back and forth between lanes, it wasn't too stressful.


Getting boots on trail at about 2:30, I thought this might be a headlamp finish, but I made excellent time ( for me wink ) , doing the 6.3 mile loop in a little over 4 hours.

That's about 50% faster than I usually average.

Partly, this is a pretty easy hike. And partly, I didnt really feel like dawdling anywhere. I've been out here several times, so the novelty factor was low.

The woods were very dry. The drought is not a good thing, but at least it did seem to cut down on the bugs today. Hardly any gnats or mosquitoes.

There was a little water still running in ( I think ) Poorfarm Brook. But not much!  All the places that are usually muddy ( like parts of the Mack Ridge Trail near Round Pond ) were soft but not wet....

But it was still lovely!   And - adding a little to the novelty factor, I usually do this loop in the opposite direction. Going up Klem first made a big difference in the way i look at Klem - the southern view from Klem is easy to gloss over when going in the Mack - to - Klem direction. But headed for Mack, it is really quite noticeable smile


I had noticed a few dragonflies at the northern outlook, but on the southern outlook they were much more prevalent -


There were a few on Mack, as well. These were big dragonflies; a couple times as they swooped near my head the noise made me duck!

I reached Mt Mack faster than anticipated. I had thought I might get some sunset shots and come down with my headlamp, but I was pretty early for that and didnt really want to wait around, so I just took a few shots and headed on down.


I could hear Boy Scouts in the distance; they were having some sort of overnight event and were camped out near Round Pond ( a good chunk of the Belknaps is the Scouts' property  - thank you Scouts for letting the rest of us use it ! ).

As I descended I saw Scouts doing Scout things, and I eventually reached their encampment. There, some adults were working on getting ready for supper. They had several coolers and some charcoal fires going, and one huge cooler. Hmm. Not exactly an ultralight  over night :)   The adults were doing the cooking for the group. I think that's great - adults getting out with the youngsters. Way better than a trip to the mall or something!!

So after a little chat, I headed on back out to the car, looking forward to my rendezvous with a shower and a calzone!


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