April 8, 2012. The weather for today is supposed to be so-so with the temps mild but cloudy. What better to do then to hike a peak that has no views on top. I have been saving a few of these for just this occasion so today I will be going up Mt Hale. Part of the route will be via North Twin Trail and the rest of the way to the peak will be via an old fire warden's trail that is still used by hikers unofficially. It is not a recognized nor a blazed trail.
I found the turn off for the Fire Warden's Trail back when I did the Twins. On the way up to North Twin I never could find it but back on the way down it was right there plain as day. I guess it is all from the vantage point that one is looking. I get up at my very usual 3:30 and out the door by 4:30. I arrive at 6:30 and ten minutes later off I am on the trail. This is the same trail I did for the Twins so finding the beginning off of Little River Road is old hat now. Haystack Road is still closed for the winter so an extra mile of hiking is added one way along the river. A quick twenty five minutes later and I am at the official North Twin Trailhead.
Off I go on North Twin Trail and twenty minutes later I pass by something sticking out of the washed out river bank. This section has been eroded by Hurricane Irene and this is the third time I have been by this spot but the first time I noticed it. It is an old railroad track sticking out of the banking. Not sure why it is here or how it got here. Note to self to research that one at a later date.
An hour after starting this hike and I make it to the turn off onto the Fire Warden's Trail. At first it is as wide as an old logging road.
Eventually the trail starts to close in and soon I am in the middle of another birch glade site.
Fifteen minutes from the summit and another oddity in the woods. 55 gallon drums that have been rusting for some time. Possibly left over from the old fire tower crew or maybe once was an old logging site. Something else to research one day.
Then at 9:05 I reach the summit of Hale. It has been one of the quickest hikes to a peak only taking two hours and thirty-five minutes. There are remnants of the old fire tower including the old foundation pins and a copper bonding wire. I'm sure in the woods there might other remnants but I forgot to take the time to go look.
Back down I go and nothing too exciting on this viewless day. About halfway down my no people day is again not going to happen. I would run into a guy and his dog, Pepper, who was on his way up. He would be the only other hiker I see today. The clouds would stay in all day with just a glimpse off North Twin when I get near the bottom of the Fire Warden's Trail.
Back on North Twin Trail and immediately I spy across the river something odd. Something very red is on the other side. I cross over the dry river bed to the edge of Little River and there on the other side are rocks as if someone had painted them red. Ten minutes downstream and another oddity is a boulder sitting on top of another in the middle of the river. How I missed that one back in January I'll never know.
Back to the car at 11:10 and an early ride back home. I was really hoping to bang out Waumbek also but felt another 7.2 miles and 30-40 minute ride over to the trail might be pushing it. So just one 4000 footer today with conditions on the trail being pretty good as no traction of any kind was necessary. 38 down and ten to go.
Final numbers: 8.5 miles, 4 hours and 40 minutes, 1 peaks, # of peaks to date - 38.