May 6th, 2004

Bumbling Hiker Notes

Today's outing (after dropping Roland off at work, where his car still was since we didn't stop to pick it up after the shows at the Paradise last night) was to the Lakes Region. I thought I'd try Eagle Cliff, and if I felt energetic, hike out to Red Hill.

Well, after the scenic towns of Meredith and Center Harbor, I missed my turn onto Bean, and by the time I realized it, I figured I'd cut across on Red Hill Road (nope -- hadn't put it together yet, but I bet you have). This being New Hampshire, of course Red Hill Road stops being paved shortly (unsurprising). Where the sign was posted "Class VI Road" travel at own risk, I parked to contemplate my options. This is where I put it together. That would be the Red Hill, my secondary destination. Hmmm.

Of course this trail and trailhead were off the map I had brought with me (I am developing Issues with the AMC), but on the Delorme, and there were cars parked at the TH, and there were kids descending the (steep) ex-road/path. What the heck. It's only 1 3/4 miles. Did I mention it is bug season? Just the other day I was thinking I should dig out the bug net and put it in my daypack. Did I? No. Should I have. Oh, yeah. Something about my hat confused the flies. They couldn't find their way away from my face without assistance. Ew. After much huffing, puffing, cursing, and the occasional "I'm never going hiking again", I arrived at the fire lookout. Nice view, if hazy. Chatted with fire lookout man, learned about the previous and current landowners, who maintained the fire lookout, etc. The bugs were not bad on the tower, and of course not in the tower to speak of. Very nice. For unknown reasons, they weren't that bad going downhill. Turns out that 1 3/4s mile happened to include 1400' of elevation gain. Ouch. I needed the exercise. Past tense.

Off to get the bug net. . .
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