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So as not to repeat myself excessively, I am reducing the amount of description of trails that have already been posted. Please use the search function ( upper left) to find older posts which have more detailed trail descriptions and pictures. You can also use this to find specific hikes either by trail or mountain.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

10/29/13 Tunk Mountain and Hidden Ponds

Cool but mostly sunny. My brother was visiting from Florida. He had hiked in Maine before but had not been to Tunk or the ponds.

Some of the first views as you come out of the woods and on to the ledges.

Kelley had not hiked with Tom before but she soon adapted  ( she is not big on any change in our routine) and decided he was OK.

 Enjoying the view

Tom on our way back down

When we finished we had some time left and  decided to do a short part of the Hidden Ponds Trails.

Kelley on the way in

Salmon Pond

Mud Pond

At Mud Pond turned back. A couple of more pictures of the leaves - they will be gone when we return

A great hike- my brother and I had not seen each other in several years and we got beautiful weather to go along with the  pretty country- Kelley enjoyed it too. Tunk took us 3 hours and the ponds another hour.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

10/27/13 Frye Mountain

Cold, wet, drizzly morning with a small chance of rain forecast. We only went downtown for a short walk yesterday so decided we would hike today. Some light rain on the way over but clouds and sun when we arrived and no further rain. The last time we were here we could not find the trail head which was obscured with vegetation. We thought we would find it today, with most leaves on the ground, and we did.

Some pictures of  different parts of the trail

 The Bartlett Stream was very low- there is an alternate trail for when the water is high and the stream difficult to cross.

An old stone fence running alongside the trail

We have hiked this trail several times and never met anyone. Today when we reached the summit we met a group of nice people and their dogs

They are new to the area and we talked about other nearby trails. When they heard Kelley's name they asked if I had the blog with my dog Kelley. People never recognize us until they hear Kelley's name.

As they headed down we wandered around the summit for a bit to give them time to get ahead. There are no views or fire tower as often reported but here is a tower fragment

When we came to this junction

we made the short climb to the ledge for a look and for lunch

and then back down

and onto the trail back. A pretty good hike on a mostly nice day. 3  1/2 hours

Saturday, October 26, 2013

10/25/13 Sunkhaze Meadows

A bit on the cool side with some wind but sunny. This was to be an exploration hike. We went with our friend Faith and her dogs Roxie and Gus. Our first foray was along the Birch Stream on the trail I had accidently found last time Kelley and I were here. The trail was mostly easy to follow and we wanted to see how far we could go beyond where Kelley and I had found it. It turned out not a long way. The trail became more obscure and in searching for a continuation we found a beaver pond on our right and a large very wet marshy area in front of us. We decided winter, when all of this was frozen, would be a good time to explore further along the stream and turned back.

I took few pictures today and did poorly with most of those I did take. This is a portion of the stream we were following.

We then drove to McLaughlin Rd. and walked it to one of the old woods roads that branches off from it. We had  been on that road the last time we explored this section until it ended with no discernible path forward.  Today we would bushwhack  from there but with flagging tape to guide us on our way out. Our kind of vague goal was to reach either a stream or some other interesting feature. At times we were on rutted remains of very old roads and at others brush or boggy areas with nothing to guide us but a sense that \"that area ahead looks lighter or  promising in some way ". We found neither streams nor other dramatic features but had fun looking and  there was always the chance that we would find something around the next bend or through the next group of trees. It was also a beautiful day and good just to be in the woods with our happy dogs. The flagging tape worked well and we found our way out with only a couple of minor missteps.

The only other usable picture is of a beaver pond along the road on the way out.

 There are other (unmarked) roads and trails and we shall return. The Birch Stream segment took an hour and a quarter and the McLaughlin Rd. section three and a half  hours so we were all glad to see the car.

10/24/13 Bald Bluff Mtn. and Ducktail Pond

Cool ( 40's) and quite windy but sunny day. We had not done Bald Bluff in quite awhile so we started with that. The trail head is reached by continuing on the the road that takes you To Partridge and Ducktail. The trail head has been moved a bit to the right  because the old trail  " crossed private property". The new trail was very pretty with the sun and all the leaves.

A short distance after the new trail rejoins the old trail there is a side trail to the overlook

from which, are the nicest views on this trail

Back on the main trail you climb to the summit which has an open area but is surrounded by trees and so offers no views

If you continue on the trail a short distance down the other side there is another ledge which offers views through the trees

Back down we headed toward Ducktail and saw a sign at a side road that said " dead end - scenic view" - we drove a short distance and parked and began to walk it. There were many barriers along the way - piles of gravel, large boulders, trenches with streams or standing water. Here is an example

Kelley had some difficulty getting around some of them and here she is contemplating one of them

and the view

We walked further down the road and did some bushwhacking off to the side looking for other views but found nothing better and returned to the car and headed for Ducktail to have lunch. There is a short trail to the pond .

A pretty good outing, with some things we hadn't seen before, on a pretty day. 2  1/2 hours

Thursday, October 24, 2013

10/23/13 Sunkhaze

Cool but sunny. Goal today was to follow a spur off the Johnson Brook Trail ( Birch Grove Spur) that had previously frustrated us. We started from the parking lot and headed for the beaver pond- one of Kelley's favorite parts of this hike.

Along the way some leaves

We then backtracked to the loop trail. This is a pleasant trail with several bridges over the marshier sections. Most have them have become warped and distorted. Kelley is a little leery

The Birch Grove Spur has frustrated us because we have never made it to a birch grove. It starts out as a nice clear trail, and even has a long bridge, but the trail becomes less and less distinct and finally just disappears. Today we continued on past that point, keeping the sun directly behind us. After a fair amount of bushwhacking, looking for more of the trail we gave up again. We could not find the trail back and began bushwhacking out toward the sun ( that should work, right?) . We never did find the trail and after awhile came to a large beaver pond we had not seen before and I knew we were really off course. We worked around the pond, more bushwhacking and suddenly found a nice wide trail running along a stream. We had never seen this trail before either but followed it.

Poor picture- shooting into the sun and camera focus acting up but it was a pretty stream

I thought it must be the Birch Stream and that turned out to be so. The trail ended at County Rd. . There was no sign and it wasn't easy to see but we will start from this end next time and further explore.

We now had a walk back to our car. We walked the road for awhile but then saw a gated service road  that I thought would take us back to the loop trail and get us off the road ( drawn in on map) . This worked out and we finished the hike as we usually do. Another interesting hike that gave us trails to explore in future.  3 hours

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10/22/13 Walden

Cloudy and cold with a forecast of rain and thunder storms. Kelley gets really upset by storms so we decided to go to nearby Walden and get a hike in before the storms ( turns out they never happened- just a few sprinkles later in the day).

Kelley likes Walden and we had not been there in awhile so she was happy- lots of sniffing along the way. We only did an hour and a half but it was enjoyable.

Starting to look kind of wintry

A few things we saw

and a wintry looking beaver pond