A Longer Excursion in the White Mountain Wilderness
I didn’t go for many solo hikes in the winter and spring of last year, preferring to spend time walking with Abbs instead, but I did occasionally want to get out and do something that was beyond her abilities. Plus, I was reminded by Abby’s other human that I should share dog time… which I guess is fair.
In any event, I did manage a couple hikes up some of the half dozen canyons that access the undulating spine of the White Mountains; most of these are fairly steep in grade but no more than 3 miles one way bottom to top. Once at the top there are additional choices of trails that traverse the high country allowing for a myriad of route options. That day I ascended via Turkey Canyon, hiking from the large firs at the mouth of the canyon up through pine and oak, passing a cluster of feathers that were evidence of a recent turkey dinner, until I reached the spring near the top.
From here I decided to take one of the connector trails along the eastern edge of the escarpment before reconnecting with the more popular Crest Trail. Not only did this turn out to be a beautiful route, but upon rising atop a small hill I was able to watch a herd of elk scurrying over the hilltops in the distance. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you probably know that I see elk up close quite frequently in my neighborhood and around the village but unlike the habituated town herds that are mostly indifferent to the nearby activities of people, the elk that roam in the wilderness at elevation are much more wild and have an appropriate sense of the danger that humans can bring. This group’s synchronized gallop across the grassy highlands and away from my sudden appearance was an amazing sight to behold, and made me feel quite fortunate to have witnessed it – though regretful that I had disturbed them.