Grafton Loop Pics – Not Public

Day OneDSC02194aRoad walk to start of about half a mile to where you pick up a snowmobile trail that leads to the real trail a mile or so in.DSC02195aDSC02198aCrossing Bear River via the snowmobile bridgeDSC02201aDSC02202aLunch break after climbing over the first mountain of the dayDSC02208aMossy glen in the colDSC02209aDSC02210aClosing in on the tree line you can start to see more sky between them. It gives you hope!DSC02213aThen this!DSC02218aDSC02219aDSC02221aDSC02225aDSC02230aDSC02236aOh, plus you get free fruit. A little hard to get there, but darn tasty.DSC02237aDSC02238aDSC02239aThe tarp isn’t up yet, but the laundry has been hung out to dryDSC02241aAlways windy here and there are lots of dead trees laying all around the campsite. Restful.

 

Day TwoDSC02243aDSC02245aDSC02248aLooking back at Sunday River Whitecap, the big mountain of day one. Now we are above it.DSC02250aDSC02251aThin clouds were flying past from left to right almost obscuring the Baldpates on the other side of the notch.DSC02262aDSC02265aHalf way down looking back up towards the summit of Old SpeckDSC02268aA nice view of Hedgehog Hill, West Baldpate and finally on the far left the open slabs of East Baldpate.DSC02272aDSC02275aTo heck with those Baldpates, I’m sleeping here.DSC02276aAlong with about twenty AT thru hikers.

 

Day ThreeDSC02278aI had a lot of miles to do and weather was threatening so this is the only pic from the first climb.DSC02280aJust as I reached the summit the rain began to fall.DSC02283aWith the wind picking up and water coming down I knew the exposed climb ahead would be “fun”.DSC02287aDawns last gleaming or Sailor take warningDSC02289aOne last pic of the disappearing mountains and then the camera was packed away for the rest of the very very very long day.DSC02291aCompletely soaked, exhausted and starved is no time to find out you have a tangled ridgeline. Had to sit down to calmly deal with that before I froze to death, then set up camp, get wet clothes off and get dry clothes and down quilts wrapped around me. Rough day 🙂DSC02292aThere’s got to be a morning after, right? Well I was still feeling pretty crappy, but this sunshine certainly lifted my spirits.DSC02293aAs did the views on top of Puzzle Mountain. DSC02295aDSC02297aDSC02300aThe climb down was wet, steep rock slabs which were very tricky so no more pictures. We’ll just leave these happy little cloud pictures as the end of the story for now. This last shot shows most of the mountains along the loop. Perhaps that will help you understand why it has taken me so many attempts over the years to finally make it all the way around. If not this might help…

GLT17aprofile

Being an elevation profile the actual trail distances are compressed. The actual miles were about 11 on day one, about 7 on day two, 15 on day three and 6 on the last day with the total loop listed as being 39 miles.