Plan B: East Pond Redlining, 9.6.14

Sometimes you get to hike Plan A, sometimes you end up hiking Plan B.  Since the weather wasn’t looking so great, Plan B was the plan of choice – there was a potential for rain and afternoon thunderstorms, and with the rather low clouds, going to East Pond seemed like a better choice than hiking Mt. Carrigain in a loop that involved the Desolation Trail.

After that decision was made, then the discussion turned to “one car or two?”.  The East Pond Trail trail heads are located on Tripoli Road and the Kancamagus Highway.  Add to that, the Little East Pond Trail and the East Pond Loop, and there was bound to be some repeat trail anyway, so we settled on just one car.

We headed up to Tripoli Rd., found the trailhead and headed in, our first destination being Little East Pond.  We reached the pond by taking a left on to the Little East Pond Trail and ended up at a very short spur trail which led to the edge of the pond.  The views up to Scar Ridge weren’t great, as the clouds were pretty low.

Junction of Little East Pond Trail and East Pond Loop Trail, right at the short spur to Little East Pond.

Junction of Little East Pond Trail and East Pond Loop Trail, right at the short spur to Little East Pond.

Ethan at Little East Pond.

Ethan at Little East Pond.

We headed to the next destination, East Pond, via the East Pond Loop.  Upon arriving, we saw two hikers, but they were leaving.  Ethan took a walk all the way around the pond, while I took a break, just enjoying the pond.

East Pond, Ethan is at the far end on his walk around the pond.

East Pond, Ethan is the small dot at the far end on his walk around the pond.

More of the shore line of East Pond.

More of the shore line of East Pond.

After his trip around the pond, Ethan was ready for the next part of the journey, the trek to the height of land and then down to the Kanc.  The climb was short, and soon we were headed down the other side, crossing a brook and coming out at a parking area on the Kanc.  We had seen two more hikers by this point, for a total of four for the day.  The sun tried to come out a bit while we enjoyed a snack at the Kanc, but the clouds won over, and it remained cloudy for the rest of the day.

We found this caterpillar while take a break at the Kancamagus Highway trail head for the East Pond Trail.  We found out later that this is the caterpillar for the Definite Tussock Moth, which is a grey moth.

We found this caterpillar while take a break at the Kancamagus Highway trail head for the East Pond Trail. We found out later that this is the caterpillar for the Definite Tussock Moth, which is a grey moth.

Snack over, we headed back toward Tripoli Rd., retracing our steps for almost four miles as that’s where the car was and an additional mile of trail we didn’t hike on the way in because we hiked to Little East Pond first.  Actually, this wasn’t really too bad, as the elevation on all these trails was pretty easy, and the footing was pretty good.  Back at East Pond, we saw two more hikers, for a total of six for the whole day.  It was still cloudy and hadn’t rained yet, causing us to second guess our decision not to hike Carrigain.

View down to East Pond from near the height of land on East Pond Trail.

View down to East Pond from near the height of land on East Pond Trail.

We made it to the car with no rain, but by the time we got home, it was raining, and raining enough to make us happy that we were not out trying to descend Signal Ridge Trail on Mt. Carrigain!  Thankful for that, we still had a great day out enjoying some ponds, some easier trails, and a quieter corner of the White Mountains.

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