A Little Bit of Everything, Mt. Moriah, 4.24.12

Tuesday’s hike was one of those with a little bit of everything.  The destination for the day was Mt. Moriah, chosen by Schorman, and I was just tagging along.   Schorman is working on his White Mountain grid, and Moriah was one of the peaks he needed to finish up April.

I was picked up at the Park-N-Ride close to my house by Schorman and his wife, the lovely Lady Di, and we  headed up to the Twin Mountain area to pick up the rest of our companions for the day, Little Brown Mushroom and Beaudacious the trail dog.  Not long after, right as we were coming in Gorham, we saw a moose, a sure sign of a good day!

We then stopped for a break in Gorham and noticed the river was rather high and moving fast.  After a quick discussion regarding trail selection and water crossings, we decided it would probably be a better idea to take the Carter-Moriah Trail instead of the previously chosen Stony Brook Trail.   This would avoid any potentially difficult stream crossings and would have less wind exposure on the ledges.   While on our way to the trail head, we saw a rainbow – another sign of a good day!

Carter-Moriah Trail, the trail of choice for the day.

The rainbow was a result of course, of the weather.  We ended up with quite a variety of weather throughout the day, and started out reasonably nice with mixed sunshine and clouds and wind.  The trail itself was nice, with no snow or ice and not too wet, either.  As we hiked up toward the ledges, it began to rain, but thankfully as we approached the ledges we could see that while they might be a bit wet, they weren’t icy.  Up we the ledges we went with Beau happily in the lead and as we gained altitude, the weather changed once again, this time to snow.  In fact, at one time while it was snowing on us, we could see a rainbow in the valley below.  Very interesting and different to be above the rainbow, rather than looking up at it!

Look closely, there is a rainbow in the distance in the center of the photo, and snow falling around me as I took the photo.

We continued to make progress upward, past the ledges and to the boggy areas (which weren’t super boggy today), enjoying whatever bits of sunshine we got as the wind blew the clouds by over our heads.

The vegetation on the ledges, off trail. There was an interesting variety of color, shape and texture to the vegetation.

A little further up, there was little more snow and ice on the trail, and then something none of us could remember encountering.  There was ice on the trail but, it was the size and shape of ice cubes.   It was like someone had dumped the contents of an ice machine on the trail and we had to walk through it. Like all ice, these things were slippery, too!

Ice cube trail.

Ice chunks; you can see the size and texture of ice compared to my shoe at the bottom of the photo.

The temperatures started to drop, the wind picked up a bit and we knew were getting near the short summit spur trail.  In just a few minutes, we were standing up on the summit, congratulating each other, snapping a few photos and then retreating to the trees where it was less windy for a bit of lunch and to prepare to descend.

The marker on the summit of Moriah.

The descent was uneventful, and it was nice to get back down to warmer temperatures, delayering and putting away all the extra hats, overmitts and jackets as we lost altitude.  Down the ledges, down through the forest, and soon enough we were at the vehicle, happy to have successfully hiked to another summit and back.

Schorman and Lady Di carefully making their way down a ledge, with Little Brown Mushroom and Beau behind them.

I had a great day – with excellent company, quite a variety of weather conditions and terrain, and got to see a moose and several rainbows, too!  I’m glad I got to tag along and see Schorman, Lady Di, Little Brown Mushroom, and Beaudacious in action.

 If you don’t know Bill Schor, he is an amazing hiker who has come back after a very difficult ankle injury to continue to hike and work on finishing his grid.   His strength as a hiker and love of being on the trails is amazing considering that each hike brings its own set of painful steps.   He and his wife, who lovingly supports him and does many of the hikes with him, are wonderful couple!

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3 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Everything, Mt. Moriah, 4.24.12

  1. Hi Summerset,
    Well, you will likely get numerous comments and speculation about those “ice cubes” you encountered on the trail!

    I also don’t recall seeing anything like what you described and photographed. I can only speculate that the “cubes” were once a solid sheet of ice and then perhaps were broken apart by a sudden rise in temperature, or could it possibly have been the result of moose traffic tramping and breaking apart a solid sheet of ice??

    Anyway . . . an enjoyable report, as always. And congratulations to Bill for working through his ankle injury and continuing his pursuit of the grid.

    John

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