Storm Moving in Over the Carters
Mount Moriah 4049'
Stony Brook Trail/Carter-Moriah Trail
10.2 Miles 3150' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy, Emma, Linda and Blue
Hiking in the Whites brings many things along with the expected exercise, fresh air and commune with nature. Often it will bring new friendships with like-minded folks who also seek the simple pleasures found while plodding along through the rocks and roots. One such friendship has blossomed and grown over the past several months as we have ventured into the Whites with Linda and Blue. They are much like ourselves in that they care little for glory and fame in their hiking endeavors. They are not driven by lists, or miles or elevation, they simply wish to be out in the woods and enjoy the natural beauty that abounds there.
Along the Stony Brook Trail
This week they agreed to join us on a visit to a mountain that Judy, Emma and I have loved since our first visit many years ago, Mount Moriah. Although we have approached this summit from other directions, probably our favorite is the Stony Brook Trail. This way suited Linda and Blue just fine for they had never been up this hill before and were happy to cover some new territory. They both got to check off another new mountain on the much acclaimed Four Thousand Footer list, but it mattered little to them. Linda was happy to be out with friends, and Blue was happy to just be out.
Emma Waits for Blue
From the start good conversation made the miles go by quickly and the thought of approaching rain was put aside for the moment. Blue engaged himself in following his nose as he was drawn to the wonderful scents that fill the forest. Soon, content he had sniffed all there was to sniff, he took a page from Emma's book and went into energy conservation mode as he realized this was no short walk he was being led on. He and Emma splashed in the brooks as we crossed, and each drank their fill and hoped for treats as we paused to make clothing adjustments to match the changing weather.
Labrador Tea Rhododendron groenlandicum
Soon we came to bog bridges which crossed a soft, marshy area, and shortly after that the terrain changed again, this time to rocky ledges that climbed higher and higher. Here the wind blew much colder and brought with it the first hints of the rain that was to come. As we scrambled from one ledge to the next the views opened up more and more. To the south rose the under-rated North Carter, and beyond that we could see the other Carters as they marched away into the fog towards Mount Hight and Carter Dome. To our east lay the Wild River Valley and above this rose Caribou Mountain, the Royces and the Baldfaces. At the far southern end of what we could see were Chandler and Sable.
Pink Lady's Slipper Cypripedium acaule
To the right of North Carter and just below it we could see Imp Mountain, and to the right of that, to our southwest we could just make out the Northern Presidentials as they ducked in and out of the fog. Madison, Adams, Jefferson and Clay, though Washington never showed his head as the rain engulfed his summit. Overall threatening clouds formed and swirled as they gathered the momentum to bring us the rain that they promised. As we moved north across the ledges the approaching, wind-driven rain began to pelt against our faces. Our furry companions made the occasional stop to shake it loose from their thick coats.
Summit Girls with Blue
At the spur to the summit we made the quick scramble to the top and stayed only long enough for our summit pictures before we retreated a few feet out of the wind and under what shelter the trees could offer to have a quick lunch. Soon after we beat feet a mile or so back along the rocky ledges and down into the shelter of the wet, green woods. We made good time back down the trail despite clamoring over the wet rocks and roots along the way. Back at the parking lot everyone had a good shake before getting into the relative comfort of the awaiting car. We called in an order to Mary's in Gorham and it was ready for pick-up when we arrived.
K, J&E, Thanks Linda!
We spent a warm, dry night at Harvard Cabin in Jackson where we were able to change out of wet clothes and hang them to dry. We slept in a bit next morning as weather was not conducive to more hiking. This allowed us to have a huge breakfast as we took our time to get things together for the ride home. As we headed back down through Conway we stopped at Diana's Baths to stretch our legs. A great ending to a great trip!
Rhodora Rhododendron canadensis
Full set of pics HERE: