Saturday, May 12, 2012

2012.05.12 Morgan-Percival Loop - Elevation Isn't Everything

Today we accomplished our second warm up hike of the season.  What a day it was!  A crystal clear blue sky all day, temps in the high 70's and a light breeze.  It simply does not get any better than this.

This is a loop hike incorporating both Mt Morgan and Mt Percival.  Both peeks ring in at only 2,200 feet.  These might be considered 'bumps' as opposed to real mountains when one considers all of the 4,000 footers in NH.  But don't be fooled.  With about 1,550 feet of vertical rise (per our hiking book), and after actually hiking it, I can tell you that there is more substance to this hike than the summit elevations might indicate.  The total RT is about 5.5 miles which we covered in just under 4.5 hours.

A map of the loop with our having gone counter-clockwise getting to Percival first, crossing the ridge to Morgan and then descending.  I think this direction was the best choice.  The trail head in the image is not the one we used.  The second trail head that you can see is where we started and there is ample parking on both sides of the road.

 The obligatory trail head photo.

 A pretty slowly cascading brook very early in the hike.

Two log bridge = comfy & safe.  One log broken and suddenly it becomes a balance beam.  Add to that a sketchy railing and this becomes a less comfortable crossing.  Luckily, further downhill there was a safer way to cross. 

Parts of the lower elevation had 'recently' been logged.  You are only in this scarred up area for a short time so it was not too bad.

The first of two snakes that Sue ran into (she was leading our hike as she typically does).  She was not happy! 

 Just minutes later we ran into snake #2.  He was a little bigger than the last.

 A minefield of rock we passed on the way up Percival.
 Our first open views of Squam Lake.

 We reach the summit of Percival and the views are clear and simply beautiful.
Is that Steven Tyler I can see at the lake's edge?

 This week's vegetation shot.  This poor tree is trying to establish itself on this rock.  Will it survive?  So little resources to draw from...

Here someone took our photo at the summit of Morgan.  More beauty (Sue and the lake!).

The weather was perfect, the trail was reasonably challenging and the views were stunning.  What a day!


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