View Full Version : Dappled Snow on Speckled Mountain 10/14/09

KD Talbot
10-17-2009, 09:23 PM
View west from Speckled Mountain

Speckled Mountain 2906'

Spruce Hill Trail/ Bickford Brook Trail

6.2 Miles 1650' Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma

Dappled Sun on Speckled Mountain was one of John Compton's recent trip report titles. I want to steal it and alter it ever so slightly. This trip report will be titled, "Dappled Snow on Speckled Mountain" or, "What a Difference Eight Days Can Make." While John approached from the east, we approached from the height of land in Kevin's Notch. Spruce Hill Trail is directly across the road from the East Royce Trail parking area. As much time as we spend in Kevin's Notch we had never before ventured to the summit of this gem. The trail offered good footing and easy grades through forest canopy frequently changing from deciduous to conifer and back. Still plenty of color in the valleys even north of the notch.

Spruce Hill Trail

Similar to John's hike we had a crack of noon start after the long ride up from Kingston which included a stop at Lake Chocorua. Jude has been sick and this seemed like a pretty mellow hike so we decided to see how it would go, saving up strength for a bigger hike tomorrow. This was actually one of the easier summits I think we have ever hiked, with excellent views as well. The views are not 360 with the views to the south blocked by tall trees just below the summit, but to the west, north and east there are excellent views.

Snow-Covered Spruce

As we drove into the notch we realized that there was snow up high. As we parked at the height of land we could see that there was snow on the trees a few hundred feet above us. We soon came across small patches along the trail. Scattered leaves were on top of the snow mocking its early arrival. On good footing we passed from brilliant foliage to dark spruce and back gently rising to the highest point on the east side of the notch. Snow crunched under foot but there was no need for traction.

View North to Caribou Mountain

Just below the summit there is a sheltered spot in the trees where we put on everything we had which proved woefully inadequate for the frosty northwest wind which quickly turned my hands to concrete despite my wool mittens. Still, the scene before us was worth the bitter, late November-like wind. Stray snowflakes blew around us just because every drop of moisture in the air had crystalized. I thought, "It's early for this." Then I thought, " This is great!" I snapped pictures as the passing clouds created "dappled" sunlight on the surrounding hills. Bright valleys would light up like glowing flames and snow covered trees and hills would flare up and fade as the clouds raced past the sun.

North to the Mahoosucs

Eventually the cold pushed me back down into the hollow where, out of the wind, the sun did what warming it could. Here we ate and had a drink, cold, and wished we had a thermos of coffee, or tea, or soup or chowder or ANYTHING HOT! After eating we took another short stroll around the summit and headed back down the trail the way we came. It didn't take long to warm back up. Thanks to John for reminding us that we hadn't been to this one yet. Now we're looking forward to a return!

Back Down in the Leaves

Complete set of pics here:



Anna LeBlanc
10-17-2009, 09:57 PM
Really enjoyed your pictures.Sorry to hear that Judy hasn't been feeling all that well.Emma looks very happy to be on the trail.We love hiking with our dog Nigel.He's a Corgi and people are always amazed at how easily he can get up steep inclines with his stubby legs!


KD Talbot
10-17-2009, 10:10 PM
Emma loves Corgis! Anybody near her size is OK!

I believe their low center of gravity and relative light weight helps them get over obstacles. We often come to a spot and while we wonder, "How will she get up this?" she's already up and over.


10-18-2009, 09:15 AM
I like the second shot above. It looks like Fruity Pebbles in milk!!

KD Talbot
10-18-2009, 11:27 AM
Did someone wake up hungry this morning, Rich? :)


10-18-2009, 04:58 PM
Wonderful report and great shots. I love the second one above with the color and snow. Hope Jude is feeling better. Thanks for sharing.

Snow Miser
10-18-2009, 06:00 PM
Very nice photos and TR. The one with Emma is really good. She looks right at home on that trail. Hope all the fresh air help Jude feel better!:)

10-18-2009, 10:28 PM
Hi Nancy,
When do you open the camp for the season?
We still have snow at the 6500 ft. level around here. How is the weather and do you have much snow on the ATV trails. What is the fishing like?
I am getting spring fever and want to take a trip soon.


10-25-2009, 10:18 PM
My Father-in-law lives in Snowflake, AZ and is interested in Rallies in the area. Also, we have a member in Show Low, AZ that has been know to go to rallies as well. Keep us posted as to your plans.