Holts Ledge

Hiking from fall to winter.

After yesterday’s brief snowfall the weather turned warm and sunny once again, allowing us a beautiful fall afternoon. This morning we woke to dense river-valley fog, so I headed across Lyme to the Dartmouth Skiway and the high point of Holts Ledge. There, well above the fog, I encountered brilliant foliage at the base and an impressive 2″ snowcover on the exposed slopes near the top. Here is one photo from the top, showing Holts Ledge at left and the peaks of Moosilauke, Cube, and Smarts left to right – but don’t miss the gallery for six other full-res photos in brilliant color.

View of Holts Ledge with (L to R) Moosilauke, Cube, and Smarts, with waves of fall foliage below.

Hike stats:
distance = 5.9km
gain = 353m
time = 1h 37m (including photo stops)

First snowfall

Brief but beautiful.

It rained all day yesterday, and rained hard all night long. At first light today, I looked out the window to see blobs of snow falling amongst the raindrops. Although the air temperature was above freezing, it must have been cold higher up. The snow/rain mix continued for about an hour, with little of the snow sticking to the warm, wet ground. It’s a beautiful sight, and also a reminder that the warm side of fall weather may be with us only for a few more weeks.

Season’s first snowfall at home.
A few snowflakes cling to the fallen leaves.

Mt. Israel

A beautiful hike through fall foliage.

Today was another spectacular fall day in New Hampshire. I enjoyed a lovely early-morning drive across the rolling hills of center-western portion of the state, around Squam Lake, and past the trailhead for my prior Morgan-Percival hike, to the pretty village of Center Sandwich. My destination was Mt. Israel, seen in photo of fall colors above a roadside wetland. Read on and check out the gallery.

A pretty roadside view on Rt113 in NH. A shoulder of Mt. Israel peeks out at right.
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Woodland wanderings

Sunday morning in the woods.

Today I spent a good portion of the morning wandering the woodlands of Lyme. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, the trees were bursting with color, and I was scrambling over moss-covered stone walls in the midst of historic farm country. If there is a better way to spend a Sunday morning, I can’t think of one. Read on and check out the gallery.

The fall colors are bursting forth this week.
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Morgan and Percival

A beautiful hike through fall foliage to summits that overlook Squam Lake.

The trail sign gave me two choices to reach the summit – via the caves or via the cliffs. Well, I picked the caves of course! Little did I know that the trail would in one place make me squeeze through a passage so narrow I’d need to remove my pack, and that in another place the trail would actually cross over itself like a corkscrew. Read on and check out the gallery for more photos of Mount Morgan and Mount Percival, during fall-foliage season!

View from Mt. Percival, with Mt. Morgan at right and Squam Lake below..
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Rowing disappointment

The beauty of sculling on the river.

Last summer when I moved to Switzerland I was, despite the excitement of the new adventures I’d encounter there, sad to be leaving New Hampshire during the prime season for rowing (sculling) on the river. So I was, this summer, looking forward to returning to the river to resume rowing in late July. The first few weeks were wonderful, as I slowly built up my strength and re-tuned my skills for rowing on the Connecticut River where it flows beside our home. It was not to last.

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Lyme wildlife

I meet a patient red fox in the Lyme graveyard.

I’ve not been blogging lately, but I have been getting out. Several sightings of a bald eagle soon after our return to Lyme (New Hampshire) had me excited to visit its favorite perches with my long lens, hoping for an opportunity for some great photos. Despite many evening walks and morning paddles, he was never home when I came knocking.

Nonetheless, in the two months we’ve been home I have seen an amazing variety of wildlife within two miles of our house – black bear, red fox, white-tailed deer, red-tailed hawk, bald eagle, blue heron, mallard duck, canada goose, kingfisher, hummingbird, beaver, osprey, loon, and my first ever sighting of a bobcat. I just never seem to have my camera handy when they come by. Until today! Read on.

A red fox in the Lyme graveyard.
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Freshman Trip

A picnic Freshman Trip at the Lodge.

Dartmouth has a tradition of “Freshman Trips” (now “DOC Trips”) going back almost a hundred years. Before the new first-year students begin life on campus, they spend three days in the New Hampshire wilderness backpacking, biking, canoeing, etc., in small groups. On the last night they converge on Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for a grand evening of dining, dancing, and stories. It is a truly special program, and every year more than 90% of incoming students participate, along with hundreds of upper-class leaders and staff. Totally student run, totally amazing way to begin the Dartmouth experience.

This year, of course, is different. My son Andy is entering Dartmouth as a freshman – but this year, there are no traditional Freshman Trips. So Andy and I walked up to Moosilauke Ravine Lodge for a picnic dinner at sunset. Mara ’22 was the Loj Croo 😉. It was a beautiful evening.

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Customer service

Amazingly great customer service from thinkTANK photo.

Close readers may recall that, several miles into my day-long hike along the Aletsch Glacier, back in Switzerland, that my backpack’s hip-belt suddenly failed – the padded belt portion simply became un-sewed from the body of the pack. Today I received the most amazing example of Customer Service I’ve ever seen…

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