summit_marker.jpg

Passaconaway (4043')


We hadn't been getting as much hiking in this season, so we decided we would definitely hike something on this day. (We drove up the week before but it was miserably hot, we missed our stop for trail food, and neither of us were really up for it. Instead we visited Castle in the Clouds, had lunch in Wolfesboro, and called it good. In fact, it was good.) This time we would hike. If the weather was good, we'd hike the Carters. If the weather was bad, we'd hike Passaconaway. The weather was bad. It started raining before we reached exit 24 and it rained on and off (mostly on) until we left the region in the afternoon.

elleing_summit.jpg

Although it was the wettest hike we've done so far, the Dicey Mill trail was among the easiest. The grades and footing are nearly ideal most of the way to the summit. On a number of other hikes the rain had a huge impact on our progress. The unheeded warnings on Flume Slide and the decent of Beaver Brook trail on Moosilauke come to mind. Not so on Dicey Mill. Even in the dismal weather, we were finished the 9 mile, 2950 foot trip in 5 hours and 15 minutes. The temperature helped, too. The base was in the high 60's and the summit was around 55F.

shawn_summit.jpg

On the way down, we passed a humungous boulder. I don't know how we could have missed it on the way up. It was sitting just to the side of the trail and there aren't any other rockes around it. There is a stream nearby which might have something to do with how such a massive piece of stone could become so isolated. If it wasn't raining so hard, I would have snapped a pic.

There were a few things we noticed on this uneventful hike. Hiking in the pouring rain is no fun. Gore-Tex sneakers may be a plus; not having them was definitely a minus. Fifty-five degrees is a lot colder when you're soaked to the bone. On a descent, somewhere between a steep and a mild decline, you'll find quadricep torture. Tamworth, NH takes a lot longer to get to than you might expect. It was sunny and warm all day at home. It was too bad we didn't add Passaconway to the Whiteface hike since the return trip down Dicey Mill Trail is a breeze. The trails aren't very crowded when it's pouring rain and anyone you do encounter makes some comment about it.