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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beau Hikes the Hancocks and Mt. Isolation July 4th Weekend

Hiking with Beau is never dull. The goal for the long weekend was -- even with a late start on Saturday due to recycling and garbage runs -- to get in two good hikes this weekend.

My wife and I had decided to go over to North Conway for a mini getaway. She found dog friendly accommodations for us and Beau at the Cranmore Mountain Lodge see http://www.cml1.com/ in North Conway.

July has been a good month, most of the 4000 foot mountains I've already covered for the grid for this month.

I chose the Hancocks  as they are close to North Conway and on my 576 list http://www.48x12.com/.

Beau and I got to the hancock trailhead parking lot about 11am. Which was great for him as we did not see anyone for the the first 45 minutes of our hike.

The Hancock Mountains are a massif about 3 miles into the Pemigewasset wilderness -see Hancock mountain instructions http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/otherpemi.html. It is relatively flat and rolling out and back with several stream crossings until you get to the base of the massif. I avoid this hike during heavy rains or changeable hot/cold weather in the winter due to all the stream crossings.

Beau was his usual wild dog self and he met a black lab that he played with. Our trainer from dog class said Beau does not know how to play with other dogs but he seems to do better with large dogs and not so well with small ones.

When he meets people he usually barks once and then comes back to get me and I hook him up for our eventual meeting.

We choose the path up the South Peak. The climb up the South Peak is steep but not too terrible. The Hancocks are not noted for their views more for glimpses of surrounding wilderness. However the view from the lookout at south is a stunner. So is Beau.

Next we hiked over to the North Peak along the ridge where Beau found a number of mud bogs. In winter beware this trail is notoriously hard to follow. Please note Beau is not two tone. I always dunk him in the brook several times on the way home or my wife would freak. Time for the day was a little over 4 hours.

We finished our loop and headed back to the car. To get around all of the traffic in North Conway village I took Bear Notch Road. I would highly advise this route if you want a scenic ride or to miss bumper to bumper traffic through downtown N Conway.

Beau and I met my wife the Cranmore Mountain Lodge. We had a room in the loft building which allowed dogs and men!. I got a cleaned up and we headed off to an early dinner at Maestro's in North Conway http://www.maestrosnorthconway.com/ . We had a nice dinner on the deck. The food, drink and service were all very good. I highly reccomend the portabello appetizer.

We were trying very hard to keep Beau from barking so we did not get kicked out of the hotel. At our house the dogs bark at noise and we were at the bottom of the stairs in this building so it was nerve wracking but worked out. So after a fitful sleep and a superb breakfast (included in the room rate). Beau and I headed off to hike Mt. Isolation.

Mt. Isolation has two main approaches. One from the Rocky Branch parking area and the other from Glen Ellis Falls Parking lot. Both are off the road that leads to Mt. Washington. I like the Glen Boulder Trail approach. You have to go up to just shy of 5500 feet and down to 4000' and climb your way back out. It's a great test of stamina and staying power for the day. Beau just wants to run. See http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/mount-isolation.html

We got hit by rain about 45 minutes in as we were hitting the upper reaches of Glen Boulder trail this was the last good shot before we were all soaked in.

The rest of the day was a long wet slog. The way out and back to Mount Isolation it rained off and on all day. The mud between rocky branch cutoff and the peak was consistent for the mile out and back. Beau was digging holes in the mud bogs. I kept asking what he was looking for and he did not answer.

We saw several people along the way (12-15) which was surprising considering the day. We also met two dogs but Beau did not interact with them very well.

The way down Glen Boulder was quite slick but we did the round trip hike in about 7 hours. My hands were starting to freeze up from all the rain. I went through one pair of glove liners but could of used one or two more.

When we got back I took a long hot bath. We went to Wine Thyme for dinner http://www.winethymeonline.com/restaurant.html. The wine selection and appetizers were great. The dinner menu was disappointing I'll leave it at that.

We managed not to get thrown out of  the Cranmore Mountain Lodge. Actually Beau was pretty quiet the whole weekend.  The accommodations were nice and as I said before their breakfasts were exceptionally good. All in all a good weekend.

Questions email steve@vtarmynavy.com

1 comment:

Freddie Procyk said...

Beau behaved very well and we did not receive any complaints. Knowing it was its first time in a hotel, I give him 5 out of 5 :) Very nice pictures