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Thread: Dappled Sun on Speckled Mountain: (06-Oct-2009)

  1. #1
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    Default Dappled Sun on Speckled Mountain: (06-Oct-2009)

    It was difficult to decide where to hike on Tuesday. Up until about 10 AM, the sky in Bethlehem was pretty much solid gray, plus I felt a bit under the weather myself (slight head cold, or whatever). Gradually, the weather (and me) started showing some signs of improvement. So, considering the "crack of noon" start I?d be getting, I opted for something relative short and easy. Speckled Mountain over in Maine would be my destination for this day (unless I decided to do something else while en route)!

    I had never been to Speckled Mountain, but it has been on my mind to do ever since it was suggested to me that I should give this mountain a try by hiking to it via the Evergreen Link and Cold Brook Trail. This is a beautiful route, a good part of which is in the Caribou-Speckled Wildnerness. It's never overly steep at any point. One of the steepest parts occurs in first few tenths of a mile immediately upon leaving the trailhead!

    But speaking of the trailhead, I don't know if there was ever a sign at the trailhead. Regardless, there is no sign there now! I thought I was in the right place, but since there was no sign, I was unsure. So, I went a short distance back down the road to the Evergreen Valley Inn where the good folks there confirmed that the spot I'd found was indeed the trailhead.

    As I began the hike, the sky had far more clouds than sun, but at least it wasn't raining! Within an hour of hiking through an awesome hardwood forest, I came to the first of many open ledges that "speckle" this mountain. The views were marvelous, but this is where the "dappled" thing comes into play (as was mentioned in the title of this report).

    The mixed conditions of sun and clouds caused the landscape to be "dappled" with areas of extreme bright and extreme dark. My poor "point & shoot" camera didn't know how to handle this, and neither did I. But between the two of us, we did the best we could and managed to eke out a few semi-decent snapshots.
    Below are three photos of vistas showing some autumn colors.



    Below is a snapshot which isn't being shown for reasons of autumn color. Is it just me, or does the sheer cliff on Red Rock Mtn sort of resemble "The Captain" (near Mt. Carrigain) in a way?


    Well, getting back to the theme of autumn colors, my snapshots of the vistas didn't really do justice to the distant views. But to see some brilliant autumn color, you really didn't need to look any farther than the ground beneath you, or just on either side of the trail.
    (Below are two examples of what I'm talking about.)



    It should be mentioned that there are extremely nice views of Kezar Lake from the south-facing ledges along the upper part of the Cold Brook Trail. However, once again, because of my issues with the "dappled" lighting I only got one snapshot (out of several that were taken) that is worth posting.


    And finally, I sort of knew this in the back of my mind, but I'd forgotten about it until I arrived at the summit. This mountain once had a fire tower, which is little wonder since even without the benefit of a tower, the summit area of today still provides a fine panorama of views to the southwest, north, and around to the east. The footers for the tower are still there (photo below).


    Speckled Mountain is an excellent destination. I want to pay a return visit to the ledges that "speckle" this mountain, but on a day when the views aren't "dappled" with patches of sunlight and darkness.

    1HappyHiker
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 10-07-2009 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Spelling & wording
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  2. #2
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    Beautiful photos! The colors are really getting intense. Even though the dappling wasn't good for taking photos, it usually makes for a nice hiking day. Thanks for posting.
    Bob

    I never want to see a day
    That's over forty degrees
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    Great report and I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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    Thanks Snow Miser and CHRIS for your kind remarks . . . very much appreciated.

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Also, it seems that the "EDIT" feature is turned off a few hours after posting your report. And therefore, I was unable to make the following clarification to my original report. I just now realized that I was unclear as to which trailhead I was talking about in regard to the lack of a sign to indicate that your are indeed at the trailhead. Anyway, the trailhead to which I was referring was the Evergreen Link Trail.

    The WMG directions are accurate about getting to the trailhead. However, perhaps another few words in the WMG might be useful to provide some clarity about the details of trailhead itself.

    As indicated in the WMG, after passing the Inn (on your left), then begin looking almost immediately for a dirt road that goes off to the right. It's a rough/rutted road, but it only goes for a few hundred yards before coming to a cable stretched across the road. Here, there's a small parking lot about big enough for 3 cars. But as I said, I didn't see any signs around to indicate that it was the trailhead for the Evergreen Link. And so, that's why I went the short distance back down the road to confirm that this spot was indeed the trailhead.
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 10-07-2009 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Wording clarification
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    The foilage in New Hampshire (including Canada) and your pictures are outstanding this year!

    Donna

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    The colors are great. I was never an autumn peeper, but photos like these are pushing me in that direction. Thanks for sharing.

    Karl

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    Your pictures came out very nice. I love to take pictures and was at Waterville Valley this past weekend with the family to do just that. I had the same issues with complete cloud cover in the mornings and then bright sun and clouds in the afternoons. I've always loved taking nature photos because it's just that, natural. It's not always easy taking foliage pictures, or at least portraying the real thing. The colors you got with the "dabbled" look is awesome. My favorite of the ones you posted is #2. Almost looks like watercolors on the mountains.

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    Just great pictures with another fine trip report! Thanks again, John!

    KDT

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    Bob; Chris; Donna; Karl; EDoubleu; Kevin: My humblest thanks to each of you for your very kind remarks about the photos taken on Speckled Mountain.

    Whether you live here in the Whites, or just visit here, we all have a deep appreciation for the fact that this is a truly magnificent little corner of the world!
    With all the awesome scenery surrounding us, it's easy to get some remarkable photos.
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