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Filling in a REALLY small gap, and checking out the area

Rating: 2 votes, 1.00 average.
This last week I could have gone to western North Carolina for some more hiking, but chose not to -- and I think I made the right choice:

Since the other area where I lack miles is the White Mountains, I could have gone there for a week -- but I am VERY far from being able to handle several days of hiking there. So I instead decided to (1) fill in a silly gap I still have in the area and (2) gather information for my future hikes.

When I began my planning for completing all the miles on the AT via section and day hikes, every guide book noted Mount Moosilauke as one of the most difficult parts to complete. My plan thus became to do this mountain in two parts, each time going up a side to the top, and then coming back down that same side. On 2015 July 9, I had surprisingly little difficulty climbing the Glenciff Trail (ie, the south side) to the top of Moosilauke. Indeed, I decide to go a little beyond the peak, walking to the intersection with the Benton Trail. My logic was that doing so would make the climb on the north side (aka Beaver Brook Trail, BBT) a little easier.

Signage at the bottom of this trail reinforced the warnings about this part.
Thus, on 2019 July 25, I decided to check out just how difficult the BBT was. Did I need technical equipment? Gripping gloves? My plan was to thus to simply start up this trail until my watch told me I had used up half of my daylight, and then go back down.
The BBT is, indeed, quite difficult, but requires nothing beyond strong legs and arms. It also has some glorious cataracts as you go up. I (quite frankly) amazed myself when I found I was almost at the shelter well before my turn-around time, so I decided to at least go that far. Upon reaching that point, the sign said that the next junction -- the Asquim Ridge Trail -- was a mere 0.4 miles away. Because I hadn't made any real study of the BBT before I started walking it, I mistakenly thought this was the junction I had reached four years earlier. I thus went up to that junction, took a selfie (with a smug smile of achievement), and came back down.

It was only after getting back home when I found that I actually had NOT reached the point I had gotten to four years earlier. Which meant I had a gap of about a mile along The Trail that I had not walked. So this trip I resolved to go the BBT, past the Asquim Trail junction to the Benton Trail. The high dew point made this trek more difficult than two years ago, but I was able to climb past the Asquim to where Moosilauke levels off in elevation. I turned around when time told me I was half-way done with daylight -- the BBT is NOT a trail to do in darkness!

No surprise that this hike left me quite worn out. Combined with predictions of major rain the next day (remnants of Fred had made their way from North Carolina to New Hampshire!), I decided to check out the many joys of this region, along with making sure I knew where the AMC Shuttle picks up hikers. So I drove around to the Willey House Site, the road to the Ripley Falls parking area (and confirmed that the AMC Shuttle goes to where this road meets U.S. Highway 302), walked to these falls, checked out some other sights, did some shopping, and basically tried to avoid the rain & fog blanketing the area.

Not the most successful trip in terms of miles walked or photos taken. But, since I know I can STILL hike the Beaver Brook Trail, I think I can conclude I'm not ready to quit just yet!
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