Saturday, November 27, 2010
A THANKSGIVING WALK TO LOWER GREELEY POND: 11/25/10
On a chilly Thanksgiving Day, Carol and I worked up an appetite with a walk up the Mad River Valley to Lower Greeley Pond. We started at the Livermore Trail parking area just outside of Waterville Valley. The Livermore Trail/Road soon leads out to the large clearing of the old Depot Camp logging site.
From this opening you get glimpses of some of the high Waterville peaks, including North Tripyramid...
...and Mt. Tecumseh. The snow guns were roaring up on the ski slopes.
Just past the camp clearing we turned L on the Greeley Ponds Trail.
For the first mile plus the Greeley Ponds Trail follows an old truck road used to haul logs out in the 1930s and 1940s. It's easy, almost level walking.
In less than half a mile the trail comes close to the Mad River. This mountain stream is a nearly constant companion the rest of the way to Lower Greeley Pond.
The trail crosses the river on the rebuilt Knight's Bridge.
Just upstream is the confluence of the Mad River and Flume Brook, with a little peninsula between them.
Soon the Kancamagus Brook Ski Trail departs on the R, leading 2.6 mi. through remote backcountry to the upper elevations of the Livermore Trail.
At this junction is the brushy clearing of Camp 5, a logging camp operated by the Parker-Young Company from the 1920s into the early 1940s.
Among the many signs of the logging camp operation is this old, broken cookstove top.
Sled runners half-buried in the leaves.
The walk up the Greeley Ponds Trail from the south is easy and pleasant the whole way, with a mix of spruce groves and hardwood glades.
The Mad River is frequently in sight.
A quiet valley today; we saw only two other hikers during our 6 1/2 mile trek.
Nearing Lower Greeley Pond, we went straight on an X-C trail where the hiking trail turns L to cross the brook. The X-C trail leads to this beautiful viewpoint at the SE corner of the pond.
The impressive cliffs on the NE arm of East Osceola rise above the frozen pond.
Looking L across the bog, you can see part of the Painted Cliff. We had a nice lunch break here, but a chilling breeze soon had us heading back.
A neat old yellow birch leaning out from a slope.
On the return trip we made another pass through the Camp 5 site. Carol spotted this large contraption near the back of the camp. Was this some kind of stove? (Reader Jim Dietrich from Pennsylvania, who hikes for two weeks in the Whites every fall, believes this was a fuel storage and dispensing tank - a sort of backwoods gas pump. That makes sense, since the logs were trucked out of this valley after the river drives ended in the early 1930s. Thanks, Jim!)
We went a little ways up the Kanc Brook Ski Trail for a look from the streambank at pretty little Towles Falls on Flume Brook, then it was time to head out to the car and back to Lincoln for a Thanksgiving feast!