After spending a few days with plague, I was more behind than usual on some paperwork, so I played catch-up Sat Morning.
I missed the LRCT celebration on Mt Piper, managed to reach the gate at about 2 PM.
It was like driving by Mt Major ... lots of cars !
Gallery / slide show
Well, it was late, and I decided I wanted a shorter and more solitary hike anyway.
So I drove up the carriage Rd to the top parking lot and walked down the road to the White Trail and headed for the Boulder Trail
I wasnt sure of the mileage, or my own speed, and I wanted to be sure to beat the gate closure time, so I hustled along.
Reached the Piper-Round Pd Link trail pretty quickly, decided I was doing OK and the bugs weren't too bad ... so onward.
The last time I was on this trail there was a short trail section that gave me trouble, lots of little pebbles to slip on; I was happy to see a re-route that did not descend as much as I remembered and avoided that section.
There wasnt much sign of traffic, and the reroute is pretty new with some uneven footing that hasnt settled in and stabilized in a few spots. But the walking was good, the trail easy to follow. A few bugs, but not too bad as long as I kept moving at reasonable speed. The trail passes the foot of a couple very interesting rockfalls, but neither time nor energy to explore them today. They looked like there might be some views into the valley from them, though. Future, perhaps. The trail also crosses a little bit of semi-open ledge and a spot or two of restricted views of Piper and the valley - probably obscured when the leaves come in full.
Reached the Boulder Trail junction still moving well, and began the ascent. As always, everything was further than I remembered, but crossed the rockfall and scooted up the trail without mishap. Stopped to take a few pics, and feed a few flies, then on to the East Gilford junction and the expansive view of the Ossipees, Winnie and the eastern peaks. Not surprised that I had seen no one since leaving the White trail, despite the huge number of cars at the trailheads. WAS surprised to see no one on this outlook at 4 PM :O !
I didnt really mind having the trail and the ledge to myself, though :)
From here, it was a quick dash up to the fire tower. Nice to climb 10 ft up the ladder and be instantly cooler, with a breeze and no flies!
A few minutes of observation and a chat with some folks who arrived just after me, then down the green trail. 5 PM and still people arriving at the top parking lot and headed up the trail. I was happy to be heading down ... don't want to race the gatekeepers !!
So ... didnt make the LRCT celebration, no eagles on this trip, but a lovely 3 hour walk just the same. Lovely day. :)