Wednesday, January 5, 2011


On the afternoon of New Year's Day Carol covered the store while friends Harry and Barb Cunningham joined me for a leisurely snowshoe trek into Dartmouth College's Ravine Lodge at the SE base of Mt. Moosilauke. We parked at the bottom of Ravine Lodge Rd., squeezing in behind several other vehicles, and strapped on our snowshoes for the pleasant 1.6-mile walk in on the unplowed road. The temperature was near 50, turning the snow that fell during the post-Christmas storm to mush and slush.

Along the way Barb spotted this digging from a Pileated Woodpecker.

About halfway up the road a sign indicates that you are entering Dartmouth land, where respectful visitors are always welcome; no camping allowed.

One quarter-mile stretch of the road was almost bare.

We followed the service road down to the lawn in front of the Ravine Lodge, with the south ridge of Moosilauke rising into a cloud.

Chokecherry Hill (2971 ft.), a southern spur of Moosilauke, could be seen to the SW.

Granite benches in front of the lodge provided fine seats for a late lunch.

Heading down from the Lodge. This magnificent log structure was built in 1937-38 from large virgin spruce cut nearby. In summer and fall it's open to the public as well as Dartmouth folks, and you can even go just for dinner (reservations required). A couple of years ago I bought Carol a unique cookbook written by the student staff of the Ravine Lodge. Good hearty fare.

We descended to the bridge over the Baker River on the Gorge Brook Trail. Neat patterns looking downstream from the bridge.

There's an interesting assortment of signs on the far side of the bridge.

One of the neat things about going into Ravine Lodge is winter is the choice of trails you can ramble around on in the Baker River valley, if so inclined. We went a short way up the Gorge Brook Trail and then across the bridge over Gorge Brook on Hurricane Trail.

Gorge Brook in its winter garb.

Then we headed about 0.2 mile north on the Ridge Trail, a gentle and pretty route alongside the Baker River.

A trailside vignette of the river.

The 8" of mashed potato snow was untracked, making for heavy going.

Deer tracks across the trail.

A nice long view of the river, earned via a 100-foot bushwhack.

Though not winter at its best, our four-mile ramble provided a pleasant and unhurried afternoon of snowshoeing.

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