I had the East Royce parking lot to myself and only saw a couple of cars on the road walk north to Haystack Notch TH.
That looks like antler damage to me. No claw marks and there was plenty of “evidence” along the trails.
My campsite had a fire ring so I thought that would be a good place to put my wood stove. Plenty of dry birch twigs to be found. The forest is really dry right now though, so be careful with any fire or stove.
After passing through a section of private land at the Miles Notch intersection it was a steady climb up towards the top of the notch, mostly along the brook.
Being wilderness there were plenty of obstacles to manage. Some easy to step over or around, others requiring some bushwhacking.
After loading up with a heavy load of water to get me through the next 24 hours or so I headed up the Red Rock trail. Some nice views in spots, but the ridge is really just a series of hills. I guess they may be mountains heh, but it was definitely a lot of elevation change. Given the heavy load of water I wasn’t always amused when spotting the next climb.
I’d hoped to spend the night on top of Speckled, but I was pretty wiped out by the time I got to the base of the final climb. Definitely a good thing I can camp anywhere because this was as far as I was going.
Trail clothes hanging out to dry while I enjoy what I can see of the after dinner sunset. It was an early night with no reading in bed, just zzzz
I started up the climb in great spirits, filled with vigor after a restful night. Heh, no, that wasn’t it at all. Coffee got me moving, but I am not sure what got me up that mountain. Mostly wanting to see the views I think. Well that and the scoot being parked on the other side of it.
It was a pretty morning, with the light hitting the new green leaves and the pines. There were some rolling sections between steep pitches, but I have to say I think I like coming down this side of Speckled more than going up it.
Oh but those views at the top make it worth all the troubles. Pardon the black spots in some of these pics, but I was not alone up there.
We’ll end the trip here looking at this gnarled old beast of a tree that just keeps going. Might be a lesson there 🙂