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Back before Sept 2011 we were trail adopters of the Rocky Branch Trail between Shelters # 1 and 2. This was one of the lesser-traveled trails in the Whites, and had been pretty neglected, except by the moose, and even they had let quite a lot of the trail get brushed in.

We did quite a lot of brushing and clearing of blowdowns and drainages, and had the trail back in pretty good shape. Then along came Irene aka "the storm of 2011".


The RBT, like several other trails, roads, camps and houses, suffered serious damage. Our section of trail was closed; in fact I think it was a year or two before the section from Jericho Rd to Shelter 1 ( a much more frequently used section) was reopened.

Odd to think that we were sad - I mean, sad over what had become a significant chunk of work? But, yes, we missed the trail.

There have been rumors of the WMNF reopening the trail for a while, then a SOPA, then we heard work had started.  A couple of weeks ago we had a chance meeting with Bailey, the ranger in charge of the RBT rehab, and she told us it was open again!

So ... obviously, we had to plan for a trip to see how the rehab had worked out...
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It's important to have a good map , and a good trail description can be very helpful too.

But the AMC White Mountain Guide is too heavy to pack ... so I thought I'd just take a picture of the Greenleaf Trail  description as I packed for a trip up Mt Lafayette.

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But ... Mt Lafayette is not anywhere near Rowe and Gunstock in the Belknaps! You say?

Oh! That's right ... well, when I got up and thought about getting back in time to feed the cats I realized Lafayette was probably not a smart choice Undecided

A nice Belknap loop would give me plenty of time, though ....

A hike up Mt Clinton (aka 'Pierce') - part training exercise, part sanity check and part just fun :)

Crawford Path -> Mizpah Cutoff -> Webster Cliff Trail -> Crawford Path

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TLV and the Chocolatessa have a planned trip to Lakes of the Clouds; but neither has been doing a lot of hiking lately.

Are they up to it?

So after weeks of relatively short hikes - if any - I got a chance to head for something higher.

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But I didnt want something too hard, and I was anxious to get a foliage check ... haven't been up Hale, had heard there was one stellar view, and could stop at Zealand hut on the way. Cookies?  ...

After spending the morning learning more about Clinical Nurse Leadership than I ever expected to know by attending a surprisingly interesting set of presentations, I had the afternoon free and was already in the seacoast area.

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This was one of the hottest, ickiest days in memory ( not that I try to remember such days), and I'd been wanting to check out Fort Constitution for a while. Hmmm ... AC car ride, seacoast  exploration vs garden work in the interior of Rockingham county.

Easy choice :)

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