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kevinbroderick.com » Blog Archive » Sunday’s hike

Sunday’s hike


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Olga's FallsSince the “Fall Back” clock change has put an end to my after-work hiking, I decided that I should try to get in a longer hike last weekend. After not making it up Mount Hunger on Saturday due to poor directions (the turn off from Rt. 100 is Howard Ave, and it’s approximately 0.3 miles South of Cold Hollow Cider, as noted in 50 Hikes in Vermont, which we should have looked at to begin with), a late start, and Jess not having done much hiking recently, I decided to head up to Harrington’s View myself on Sunday. The weather was ominous from the start, but I decided to go with the forecasters (since more than one of them agreed and the radar looked promising) and expect the nasty stuff would hold off until later in the day.

In the interests of making it a longer hike rather than a shorter one, I decided to take the long way up–I started up the Bryant trail around 0915, reaching the Bryant Cabin in about half an hour. The Bryant Trail was generally in reasonable shape but quite damp in places; however, it didn’t have the amount of windfall damage I’d encounter later on the trip. I continued on Birch Loop and Raven’s Wind, stopping at Olga’s Falls just past 1000 for a couple of pictures, and reached the Long Trail, elevation 3190′, around 1025. A short ways into the Long Trail section of the hike, I caught up with Russ (one of the money-counting folks with whom I work), explaining the solitary set of bootprints that I had found on the trail to that point (most visible in the remaining snow drifts, which topped out around mid-shin and were probably washed away in the ensuing rains). We also passed animal sign of several varieties, although I’d be hard pressed to identify which prints and which scat went together.

Windfalls Block the Long Trail
We continued on the Long Trail for about 1.5 miles, during which time we passed the deadfall that had turned me around on my last attempt to hike this route. It was a lot easier to deal with in the daytime, although there were plenty of additional trees to clamber over, under, and around. I know that the “Old Goats and Young Catamounts” attacked some of the Bolton trails recently, but the work needed this year apparently outstripped their initial schedule. The hike between the Raven’s Wind / Long Trail junction and the Eagle’s Nest / Long Trail junction seemed much longer on foot than on paper, but getting it done was quite rewarding. As an added bonus, patches of blue sky teased us on and off as the lower-level cloud banks ripped over the ridge, driven by a massive cold front that would bring thunderstorms later in the evening. The wind over 2500′ was certainly noticeable.A lonely tree struggles to maintain a grip on the mountainside at Harringotn's View

Russ looks into the wind at Harrington's ViewRuss looks over the edge

Russ watches the clouds roll by Harrington's View over Bolton ValleyAfter a ten-minute respite and 23 shutter-clicks on my part, we turned back onto the Long Trail and reversed direction, heading eastward, to reach the Eagle’s Nest junction. Near the 2600′ line, the Eagle’s Nest / Long Trail intersection is one of four places where the Bolton Nordic trail system intersects the Long Trail. Around 1205, we started down Eagle’s Nest. From there, we traversed Cliffhanger (and its multiple stream crossings) to Bryant, reaching the base area at 1305.

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