Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Cold River Country: 4/13/21

Teamed up with Ray "Jazzbo" Caron for a long and rewarding bushwhack in the Cold River drainage on the south side of Sandwich Dome. This is big country, by White Mountain standards, with about 3,000 acres of trailless terrain enclosed by the Algonquin, Bennett Street, Flat Mountain Pond, Guinea Pond and Black Mountain Pond Trails. This trek had it all: varied forests, multiple cascades,  a ledge with a unique view of Sandwich Dome, a huge beaver meadow, and two remote logging camps from the ca. 1920 Beebe River Railroad. 

We approached from the Bennett Street trailhead via the Flat Mountain Pond Trail and then the Guinea Pond Trail (shown below), which provides easy walkin' on the grade of the Beebe River Railroad. This was the last of the major logging railroad lines in the Whites, operating from 1917 to 1923, and intermittently after that into the 1930s.


This trailside rock shows interesting patterns of veining.

The next few photos show some of the cascades we saw along various branches of the Cold River.

Fine exposures of metamorphic rock.


Ray takes it in.

Approaching the tallest of the cascades.

A backcountry beauty.

Ray scrambles up beside the waterfall.

A hidden gem.

One of many old logging roads used or seen through the day. Ray is an expert at finding and following these with the aid of Lidar imagery.

Negotiating one of several brook crossings.

Late lunch at a view ledge on a nameless knob.

Whiteface and Chocorua to the northeast.

From this perspective, Sandwich Dome is a massive mountain, almost an entire range unto itself.

A multipart beaver meadow sprawls across a plateau at the base of the mountain.

Out in the wild woods.

Tree tenacity.

View across the beaver meadow.

Part of the meadow is still pondish.

Moose sign was abundant. We were surprised we didn't encounter one.

Calling card of another local resident.

Long view.

Mature hardwoods overlook the north edge of the meadow.

A remarkable area. Beaver clearcut up to the right.

Sweet hardwood whacking.

A random piece of ironware, far from any logging camp site.

Spruce and birch forest en route to an upper "mountain" logging camp.

A branch of the Cold River, high on the side of the mountain.

Steep climbing.

Gorgeous birch glades.

Reminiscent of the Engine Hill bushwhack en route to Mt. Isolation.

Hanging out on the dried ferns.

A few artifacts we spotted at the two logging camp sites we visited:

A harness, perhaps for one of the horses.

Sled runners.

Parts of a stove.

Partly buried top of a cookstove.

More stove parts.

Buckets, still fairly well-preserved.

Bed frame, used on many a cold winter night in a high mountain camp.

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful, almost haunting angle on Whiteface and Chocorua. Always glad for a new angle on Whiteface, which usually suffers in shared photos with Passaconaway.