|Who could turn down these faces?!
Molly and her dad still needed Carter Dome for the 48's so after talking with Dan and everyone at the house, we agreed to defy the predictions and around 8:00 converged on the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail in Pinkham's Notch.
|Top line: typical 19MB trail conditions for the first 1.9 miles. Bottom line:
one of the many gorgeous views of the river from the trail.
|The canine portion of the hiking party.
From top to bottom: Pele, Tango, and the dingo ladies
(Ty, Liza, and Molly)
By the time we reached the junction for the Cater Dome Trail, Molly was off leash, Tango was bringing up the rear in his Ruffwear Swampcooler, and Liza's bungee leash was dragging. The dogs were evidently feeling like a pack and it was incredible to watch.
|Left turn onto the Carter Dome Trail
|We still had plenty of views and sounds
of the water until just before the switchbacks.
|The switchbacks were often root covered but not steep.
|Mt High is said to have incomparable views
but we skipped it since we'd be looking at clouds
|On the way to the summit
|Some portions were easy, others required more careful footing
|To the left is the trail; the summit marker is just outside the photo.
The "trail" to the right is to an overlook (below).
The day's biggest challenge was the weather. The route we took is, in the context of a NH 4000 footer, moderate. The description in The Four Thousand Footers of the White Mountains is spot on. It can be very difficult to judge something so subjective as difficulty for others' benefit. In a lot of ways, this hike reminds me of Galehead. At 10 miles, it is on the longer side of what we do but they're not trying, difficult miles. I enjoyed the multiple junctions to give me markers. Until the first switchback on the Carter Dome Trail, running water crossing or parallel to the trail is plentiful for the dogs. It's available again at the next junction (Zeta Pass/Carter Moriah Trail) and here and there on rainy days (or in puddles on the trail) after that. The summit clearing is broad so the dogs could spread out and entertain themselves as we took pictures. (It is generally still wooded, which we appreciated as we waited out the rain.) There are a couple slick sections of rock that challenged newbie Liza but no places where hoisting was necessary. I would consider Carter Dome a great peak for those who've already built their dog up to 4000 footer-level difficulty but now want to work on distance/endurance.
|The two newest trail dogs seemed quite happy with Carter Dome (minus the rain!)
|Most of the humans!
Sunday was also Tango's birthday. Though I'm not sure most 8 year old's would want their birthday party to be a hike, he was as happy as I was for the wonderful company we were in with friends and family and got cheeseburger in addition to use usual post-hike treat! I did promise him no more 10-milers and no more humid days!