Took a leisurely six-mile, low-elevation ramble in the Smarts Brook valley, half on a combination of official and unofficial trails, half off-trail through mostly open and snow-free woods. Along the way I marveled at an ever-changing gallery of rock in many forms. The only person I saw was a fellow bushwhacker launching from the same parking area.
A stone wall from the mid-1800s - where the first settlers in the town of Waterville Valley homesteaded near the Old Waterville Road.
A unique marking for an unofficial mountain bike trail.
A glimpse of Black Mountain from ledges on a flat shoulder.
Early spring is a fine time for hardwood bushwhacking.
Not a matched pair.
A random ledge in the woods.
A suitably wild forest in the Sandwich Range Wilderness.
Open hardwoods on the flank of Acteon Ridge.
Supreme social distancing.
..under them skies of blue....
The ultimate headwater of a Smarts Brook tributary.
Ledge, moss and spruce.
Transitioning from spruce back to hardwood.
The weathered tree trunk mimics the shape of the rock.
Looking back down a steep pitch.
A tumble of boulders on this slope.
Ledges and the Campton Range. Steps placed carefully to avoid trampling lichens.
The two Black Mountains of Sandwich Dome. The white spot on the left is the scar of an old landslide.
Wonderfully gnarled oak.
Looking back up the ramp.
Fortress in the forest.
Campton Range redux.
Hemlocks and spruce, with a dash of birch.
Ephemeral water sluice. Please hike low and local, maintain your social distancing, and stay safe!