We needed an escape, a place to meld back with nature – to relax and get away, a place for both puppies and their human counterparts to roam free and stretch their legs – fourteen days is too long to be cooped up.
Our sights were set on other destinations, but when we realized just how swollen all of the brooks and streams had become from the recent onslaughts of rain storms combined with inevitably warm springtime temperatures, turning the final crusty bits of rotten snow to white capped torrents heading downstream. We began searching for another something local.. a destination both new and exciting for all of us!
I had noticed on the short drive north that we were close to the eastern trail head for Blueberry Mountain. Just along the western flanks of the more popular Mount Moosilauke, the Glencliff trail head became my u-turn spot just prior to pulling off High Street to gain access to the gated Long Pond Road.
Like I said, our objectives were originally regarding other peaks in the area from this trail head – the fact that Blueberry was right there and totally accessible was a complete bonus and worked out fantastically for us!
Quickly locating the trail head parking lot (which was still gated from the winter about a tenth of a mile in from where we parked) about a mile into our day, all signage directed us to leave our road walk and diverge left (northwesterly) onto the Blueberry Mountain Trail, initially following old logging trails.
Both of us remarked about how the narrow, well tracked-out trail reminded us of the well-kept scenic trails of the west coast.
Dry leaves turned into patches of mud with some rock-hopping and before long we were climbing, which did not let up until we were standing on the bare summit rocks a little while later.
The eleven-percent grade continued through varying forests along our narrow walkway, through low-hanging evergreen boughs brought closer to eye-level by the weight of recent snow, all around looked like meandering side spur-paths, together we wondered if any of them whisked adventure seekers off to secret destinations.
Before long our soft trail turned into bare rock slab; weaving around patches of still-frozen ice we were thrilled to be greeted by sunshine as we closed in on the height of land.
During the entire trek up Blueberry mountain we could glance back over our shoulders and be greeted by a waving Mount Moosilauke nearby; the trail-less Mount Clough and Jeffers also visible as we panned our gaze counter-clockwise from the Mighty Moose.
Unfortunately, this morning we were not treated to the plethora of blueberries that our once tree-less peak offered its visitors, we found no wildlife scurrying around, only patches of stubby conifers adored the forest floor which was still dotted with open granite.
The bare rock made navigating quick and efficient, even when trail markers and rock cairns were sparse – we merely continued climbing “up”.
When we encountered the oncoming footprints in the snow (hikers traveling to Blueberry from the west), our topographical instincts told us to swing off on a spur trail to the right (northerly), which eventually brought us to the thick steel rebar remnants of possibly the old geological survey tripod, and onward to the actual high point of the mountain.
After taking in the scenery, putting names to surrounding peaks.. and of course, petting puppies for as long as we could, we retraced our steps in the snow back to open rock slab. Finding a nice open ledgy area with a fantastic backdrop of Moosilauke with fresh snow lining its rock slides that zippered up its ravines.
We both remarked how different the descent appeared now that the sun had melted the minuscule layer of ice that had adorned the slabs during our climb only a short time earlier.
Passing one fellow hiker, we exchanged casual greetings all while keeping our prescribed social distance and wished each other a wonderful trek.
Within minutes, we found ourselves back on the lower logging roads, traipsing through the muddy leaves from last autumn and thinking of how lovely our apples and oranges were going to taste once we arrived back at the Subaru.
And with that we tossed another fantastic hiking adventure into our grab bag of local trails; Blueberry Mountain, maybe next time we find ourselves here we will continue on to the trailless summit of Jeffers or venture over to the top rocks of Owls Head cliffs to the south.
We both agreed that next time we will pack a bit of food and some tea to enjoy on a sunny day with a bit of warming breeze – who knows, maybe we will even be welcomed to a mountain with rolling slopes of blueberries as far as our eyes can see!
Enjoy nature, happy climbing!
Overall stats for the day:
Recorded with COROS Pace GPS watch
- 5.64 miles
- 2hr 57 minutes
- 1,496′ elevation gain
- Blueberry Mt – 2,662
- 52WAV #45