The Uncanoonucs Loop

This is a Run/Hike I’ve wanted to do since I’ve moved here, but havent done it yet for some reason.  I live near goffstown village and have always thought it would be a fun race course to run up moutain road, over both North and South Uncanoonuc and then back to town on Mountain Base and Wallace Road. Today I finally got around to trying it. I’m not very fast, but I was still able to test the concept.  My primary reason for doing this today was to test my leg after recovering from a calf strain, too see if I was ready to start hiking in the Whites again.  But after doing this loop I think it may become a regular addition to my training schedule.  I really enjoyed this route, also for me this hike has a very small carbon footprint since I am able to start and end at home.
I used my Endomondo app to track this Hike: Endomondo Workout
It seems from my tracks that my GPS messed up around the 3 mile mark, but the trails I took to get from North Mountain to South Mountain are available on this Map
Heres my Tracks:

Distance 7.14 miles
Duration 2h:08m:12s
Avg Speed 3.3 mph
Max Speed 7.0 mph
Calories 762 kcal
Altitude 210 ft / 1254 ft
Elevation 1458 ft ↑ / 1444 ft ↓

A Swampy Swim – Drew Lake 7/16/11
Drew Lake is part on an Army Corp of Engineers flood control project.  The dam for it is visible from an overpass on one of the area’s major highways.  I had always been curious while driving over the bridge what the rest of the lake looked like.  I went onto google maps and found where I could launch my kayak.  I found that the launch was on the far end of the canal shaped lake.  When I got to the lake it seemed to me like it was not the kind of place that attracted many visitors.  NHDES had posted a sign warning of it being infested with invasive milfoil and that boaters should make sure they clean there boats well after they left.  The lake was pretty on the surface.

But looking into its depths it was pretty ugly with all the Millfoil

I took my fishing pole with me and caught a few little bass

Fishing and paddling leisurely I reached the Dam 2 miles away in about 2 hours.
   The dam is where my excitement for the day started.  Even though you are near major highways there  really is no practical way to get to the road or back to your car in the thick brush that surrounds the area.  I pulled up to the dam and got out of my boat. I had no rope to tie off the kayak , but I noticed that the flow going through a little channel in the spillway held my parallel to the dam kayak in place quite well. 
Little channel in dam

I fished from the dam near my boat for about 20 minutes, and my boat stayed held in place by the flow through the channel  quite nicely in spite of the breeze. It didn’t seem like the boat was going to go anywhere so I stopped paying attention to it and started fishing below the Dam.  When I came back up, MY KAYAK WAS GONE!  The breeze had pushed it about 100 feet away, and it was still drifting.  My GPS was on the boat so you can see from the loop in this part of my tracks how far it had drifted away from the dam.
I had no other way of getting off the dam or getting back to my boat, or car for that matter unless I went for a swim.  I was not real happy about the idea of jumping into the nasty swampy water full of Millfoil!  But the longer I delayed, the further I would have to swim in the nastiness to catch my boat.  I pulled my wallet and keys out of my pockets set them on the dam and jumped in and swam through the swampy water for about 200 feet to my boat.  Since I had my camera and phone in my boat I didn’t want to attempt getting back in it and getting everything wet, even though I have practiced this maneuver before, so I swam back to the dam with the kayak in tow.  Once back in the boat I had to laugh out loud to myself at how funny the unplanned adventure would have looked if anyone had been watching.
I paddled back towards the other end of the lake moving a little quicker than the pace I came at, only stopping this time to take a self portrait and pick some blueberries.

The whole journey took about 3 ¼ hours, and I got really sun burnt.  But most notably I will always remember this adventure for the swampy swim.

Local Rock 7/9/11

I finally got a chance to share my local crag with Paul and Clif. Last year I found this place and it’s only about 10 minutes away from my house.  It’s location has been a well kept secret so I’m not gonna spill the beans on the internet.  I only had my phone with me for a camera so my pics are not very good, but I took a few. Clif lead the Dinosaur route (5.7-5.8?)And then belayed me up to the top, we then both rappelled down from the belay station Clif had set up, and then Paul Top Rope climbed the route. Next both Paul and I climbed a route just to the left of the dino route using the same Top Rope.   


At the top of the cliff Paul traversed over to a much harder climb on the right (5.10-5.11?), clipped in to the anchors and re set the top rope so we could try to climb this much harder route.
None of us were able to cleanly climb this route, but Paul was the only one able to top out after a bit of hang dogging.  Clif made it 3/4 of the way up cleanly but was not able to top out. And I was only able to make it up about 1/2 way.

Presidential Traverse Fail

All week I had been going back and forth on whether or not I was going to attempt the presidential traverse solo in a day this weekend, I’ve hiked all these peaks 3 time already but never all on the same day.  I was tentative because I was having a hard time trying to figure out the solution to car spotting solo.  On friday night at about 11pm after going out for a few beers with Emily and Clif and Vannesa I decided I’m just gonna go up there see what I can get done.  I woke up 4 hours later and headed up north.  I parked at the Webster Jackson Trail head and started walking and soliciting a ride from everyone I saw.

Success!  At the highland center I found a family who was spotting a car and they had room in the way back of there Honda CRV. I crawled in and they threw all there packs on top of me.  They were good people and I enjoyed the ride despite the discomfort.  We drove cross Mt Clinton Rd and Jefferson Notch and I was at Appalachia Trailhead at 8:30.  I thanked them and took off for my adventure.
While ascending the Valley Way Trail I passed a blind man hiking with his service dog. When I came up behind him and his dog we were on a tight sectiion of trail where I couldnt pass, for about 100 feet. When the trail opened up again, I then asked if I could pass, It totally suprised him. He said “wow you must be very stealthy”. I hike on my toes and, I get comments all the time from people that I’m very quiet and they didnt hear me coming. But coming from a blind guy with more perceptive hearing, I took that as a compliment. I later found out that the man was Randy Pierce and his dog Quinn and he is trying to climb all the 4K’s Check out his website. Cool Stuff.

I made it to Mt Madison summit at 11AM

Back down at the Madison Hut I ran into Greg who was hiking the traverse with a few friends, and  Johannes who was working at the hut. I am familiar with both these people through the Backcountry skiing community and it was neat to run into them in the mountains. (Greg’s crew and I leap frogged each other on the path a few times between Madison and Lake of the Clouds.)   Greg’s TR

It was sad to see that the Madison Hut had been remodeled and expanded over the past year.  It was my favorite hut, but now it is just fancy and boring, and designed more like a slope side condo than a mountain bothy.

I left the hut after some cookies and skirted around the top of King Ravine (I’ve snowboarded down this)

Mt Adams 12PM

I followed Gulfside from Thunderstorm Junction and got to Jefferson at 1:45

Next stop Mt Clay 2:45

The hike above Great Gulf on the Clay summit loop is one of my favorite views in the world (I’ve snowboarded down this too)

Between Jefferson and Clay I started to get a cramp in my right quad that really slowed me down. (This was the same muscle I tore pretty bad and was out of commision for the summer 3 years ago)   By the time I got to the summit of washington it was starting to spasm. Washington 4PM:

The summit was so mobbed that I couldnt even get a picture of me with the sign because there was a huge line. I went inside grabbed some food and drink and put my feet up for a bit to see if I could get my leg to feel better.  15 minutes later I left, and Made it to Mt Monroe at 5PM. (I’ve snowboarded down both sides of this)

At 6PM  I got to the Eisenhower col, and when I began to climb Eisenhower my leg started to spasm more than I could deal with, I could not climb any more.  I couldnt even force it and just peak bag the Summit of Ike!   Since I had been totally alone since I left Lake of the Clouds and it was getting late I figured it wasnt a good idea to push it too much. I was defeated. It killed me to quit, but I couldnt complain too much because it had been such a beautiful day to be in the mountains.
I shot this little vid clip before I went down.

I walked down the Edmunds Path and then down Mt Clinton Rd back to my car at the Webster Jackson Trailhead.  The total milage of doing this was just about as far as if I had finished the traverse, however this way was all downhill. Heres a link to my track stats:

Last year when I succesfully hiked the Pemi Loop in a single day I had trained by hiking Mt Uncanoonuc every day.  This year I’ve been mostly running and biking, which keeps me fit, but lacks in the specific strength training I needed for a hike like this. Which I think was the primary reason for cramping,  secondarily I’m sure going out to the Pub the night before coupled with the warmer than usual temps didn’t help me keep as hydrated as I could have been.  Im gonna hit Mt U pretty hard for a few weeks and then I will be back to complete this hike in a day before snow flies again!