Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When Dad Runs Free

North Conway, NH is a bustling mountain village nestled in Mount Washington Valley it’s like a Jackson Hole, Wyoming with a twist of the northeast. Take your choice of nearby activities hiking, paddling, fishing, mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, and shopping if you must but beware Mount Washington threatens some of the nastiest weather in the lower 48.

Encircling the Moat Mountains
North Conway is a busy place and after my 3 hour drive from Boston I was anxious to escape the droves. Lucky for me only 2.5 miles on the west side of the village sprouts the Moat Region made up of three peaks North, Middle and South Moat. With my colorful WMNF trail map I plotted a 13-mile lollipop loop linking the Moats via the Moat Mountain Trail and Red Ridge Trail because we all know the most important element to any backcountry travel is knowing your starting point, your destination, and your route to get there. At the trailhead in typical dirtbag fashion I franticly tossed my gear together and set off from map to trail.

Originally uploaded by runpuffin

By 4 miles I reach North Moat dizzy from the climb, stunned by the view.

From North Moat its ridge running to Middle and South Moat while each peak affords endless views of the WMNF from all cardinal points.

Originally uploaded by runpuffin

The Moats -
Morning sun on the rise
Alone beneath the dark pines I roam
The Moat Mountain trail goes on and on:
The trickling streams, the mountain blueberries
To the clouds I climb
Above the North Conway crowds
To a ridge choked with scree and boulders
Rising over a sea of trees
One last look I took
As I scramble down to the valley below

north moat
Originally uploaded by runpuffin

Fly Fishing the Saco