Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Week in NH & ME Day 3 - Mt. Moriah in the clouds

Today was an easy climb Mt. Moriah.  I got up 8 and paid Don for my last night at the Stratton Hotel Cimg3337_1
and headed towards Gorham, NH.  It was about a 2 hour drive down the desolate Rt. 16.  I saw about 
6 or 7 moose on my way and actually had one running next to the car for a bit.  It took me a while to locate the trailhead for Moriah in the town of Gorham but using some topo maps I put on my new  Palm Treo Phone I was able to find it.  I started at 11am and was down the mountain by 3.  The Carter-Moriah trail was very well maintained.  I wrapped my ankle up and took a few Aleve before
starting off but quickly realized that my ankle felt a lot better with nothing on it in my leather Asolo boots so I unwrapped it and left it as it was for the remainder of the hike.  Cimg3349
After I climbed over th
 e very small Mt. Surprise the trail became very steep over large sections of slick rock.  A family from Maine was camping around Mt. Surprise and asked me how the trails were.  They were older and I simply told them to be very careful coming down the slick rock.  I was hiking in rain clouds the entire day.  I didn't hit snow until nearly 3500 feet near the ridge and was able to negotiate it on the trail easily.  The summit was exposed but there were no views at all and a lot of mist flying at meCimg3352
so I took a pic of myself 15 feet below the summit next to the sign and then another pic of the summit geological survey marker for my logs.  On the way down passed a huge glacial erratic called "Quimby's Pillow" precariously balanced (check out the Cimg3363
picture on the left.... you can see the outline of the giant boulder through the trees.  It was balanced on 3' diameter area even though it was atleast 20' round)  Although I was in clouds the entire day it only rained a little bit on my way down luckily.  My ankle was a little sore on the way down but it held up for the entire hike and I felt confident I could go one more day on it.  I Drove to Bethel, ME for Chinese and to see Mission Impossible 3.  Stayed over night at "Hikers Paradise" Hostel for 17 bucks and had the whole place to myself.  The owner was a very crotchety old Polish guy who had no sense of humor whatsoever.  I decided to dry my rain soaked boots in the oven while watching some tv before bed. 


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