Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New to New England

Saddleback Mountain, Along the AT in Maine.
Earlier this month I visited the East Coast and New England for the first time.  I've always been spoiled by the mountains and scenery and remoteness of the mountains in most of the West.  I cherish the days when I can go for a hike and not see a single other person.  But straying on par with not being able to stay in one place for very long I headed to New England just days after I returned to Montana from Alaska.

Random logging road through the otherwise impenetrable forest of the East.
On of the many stumps in the middle of the Appalachian Trail.
 I flew into Burlington, Vermont and rented a car to head to Maine to find Lena somewhere along the Appalachian Trail.  We hiked for two days along the AT and then headed to Portland, Maine.  I'll leave it up to everyone else to debate which is the "real Portland."  I'll keep my opinion to myself on that.

I've never wanted to thru-hike the AT.  I've never had that desire to walk through the forest and rain for over 2,000 miles.  After two wonderful days of hiking along it I have even more respect for the folks who thru-hike it.  I'm fine with freezing my ass off on high altitude peaks for weeks at a time, but I don't think I'd be able to put a pack on and hike 20+ miles a day for months to complete that trail.

Portland, Maine greeted us with downpour after downpour
Portland Head Light, Maine

This turned out to be one of my favorite shots from the trip.  I  was taking photos of the lighthouse and then found Lena who said I had to come shoot at this spot.  Most of the time she has a better photographic eye than me.
We then circled back up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  I will also finally admit that there are real mountains in the East.  We climbed the Huntington Ravine route (supposedly the steepest trail in New England) on Mt. Washington and didn't see anyone else on the trail for hours until we popped out on top to see thousands of people who had driven up or had ridden the train up.  Quite the shock!  The views were beautiful and it was actually a pretty fun climb.

Ellis River in the White Mountains
Ellis River Rocks
Beginning of the slab scrambling on the Huntington Ravine route 
Lena climbing Huntington Ravine
Lena on the slabs of Huntington Ravine
Toward the summit of Mount Washington 
The Presidential Range
This is how most of the people got to the top
Yes, this building is held down with chains. 
Lake of the Clouds Hut below Mt Washington.
With big plans to do another hike the next day we got pretty distracted making coffee all morning next to a river and then found a waterfall to relax by and take photos for the rest of the day, before driving back to Maine.
Frenchman's Hole on the Maine/New Hampshire border. 

I never thought I'd say this but there are too many trees out there.  The lack of views made me feel claustrophobic most of the time.  On the contrary it was amazing to see forest the went on forever.

Trees and lakes as far as you can see.

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