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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moose Mountains Trail Sign Work 7/31/11

"Erecting MMR's First Trail Signs!" (pictures)

Refurbished Kiosk Sign
On Thursday 7/29 Scott and I headed back to Concord to finish up the trail signs that were done the previous week. We arrived at the SPNHF head quarters and we got the MMR Kiosk sign completed and worked on the many others. We brought the signs for MMR home and finished those up that night. Friday we drove up to MMR and returned the beautifully refurbished kiosk sign. And boy did it look great!

Snake-skin Plantain
The weekend rolled around and we decided we would head to the White Mountains Sunday to hike a 4000 footer. But by the end of the day we both didn't want to make the drive and we really wanted to get our posts and signs up to MMR and get them up! So excited the next morning we spent a couple hours putting the finishing touches on and getting the tools all together and loaded in the truck. We drove up the road stopping at the re-painted Hall Spring sign to put a larger bolt in it. I took a picture of an interesting plant (Wooly Snake-skin Plantain) that grows there that was flowering. It has neat green leaves with white veins and long slender flowers.

Breaking Ground for the First Post
We continued the drive up to the "Stevens Cemetery Road" and trimmed some branches and put up a "trail" arrow. Then it was up to the Burrows Farm field. We parked and loaded up the sign for Phoebes Nable Mt. trail at a junction below the summit. We made the walk all the way up the hill to find that I had left the long bolts at home and brought the wrong ones up with me! So, bummed out we headed back down. Now it was time for some post hole digging! The new post digger the Forest Society lent us worked great. And thanks to the many years of this field being dug the were little rocks that stood in our way!

First Sign Post
We had the first post and trail signs up really quick! We packed rocks and soil in around the post then decided to build a rock cairn around the post. It was an exciting accomplishment for us and we were thrilled to get the next one in! So we drove down to the river crossing and got the tools out. We noticed a truck parked on the landing up the road and wondered who it was and what they were up to.

Second Sign Post
This area proved to be a little more difficult. It was rocky and needed to be shoveled out. But again, between the two of us we went rather quick and got the post in. Another truck came up the road then and we chatted with the father and son briefly who was out just checking out the trails. Then a couple came down the road who turned out to be land owners of the property just above the field. We were glad to finally meet them and they were very nice and helpful and knowledgeable of the area. After a long chat they took off. We finished off the post with a cairn around it and sat and ate our lunch.

Phoebes Nable Mt. Trail Sign
We then headed back down, made the 15 minute trip home. We decided to grab the long bolts and head back to put the Phoebes Nable Mt. trail sign up. We drove back and parked half-way up the road. We passed by our new signs and admired them with excitement and pride. We crossed the field and began the climb up the hill. We reached a couple hiking halfway up and chatted with them. The lady turned out to be a face book friend and was checking out the property she had been reading so much about. The two maintain a trail on the Ossipee range were eager to offer there help to us should we ever need it. How nice of them to offer! I'm sure we'll be calling on them at some point! We quickly attached the sign to the tree, admired our work and headed back down. Almost back at the truck we smelled an unusual smell. Not a terrible Moose smell but some sort of animal. Perhaps it was a bear! Not sure!

End of the Day
A rewarding day for us, beautiful weather and a job well done :o) We can't wait to get going on the rest of the signs and making more! We really want to find the trail to Moose Mountain and get started on blazing and signing that, then there's the North View trail, South View trail, Bowser Pond trail, Mountain Trail and so much more! We'll be at it for years no doubt! And we are loving every minute of it. Such a beautiful property with so much to offer!

Bowser Pond Trail Work 7/27/11

"A Dead Moose and a Beautiful Pond" (pictures)

Dead Moose
I headed out this beautiful day to Moose Mountains to do some trail work. I set my sights for Bowser Pond. Previously I trimmed back the trees taking over this woods road from Piper Mt. Road and 200 feet in. From here I blazed a small trail down the banking to the pond side which looks across the water towards Piper Mt. Today I wanted to scout out a potential through-way from the kiosk to the lower portion of the road so that I could make a more direct hiking trail to the pond and a possible loop option. So from the parking lot I hiked up Burrows Farm trail a hundred feet and took a right into the woods. I crossed the river over a barb wire fence and followed the waters edge South. At one point I passed by a decayed small moose skeleton. It still smelled horrible and was not a pleasant thing to find!

Bowser Pond
Past this I entered a little deeper into the woods and followed a young, thick pine glade. Soon I came onto the woods road. I followed a yellow dragonfly around until I got a couple pictures of it and I headed uphill and at the fork I decided to take a right which crosses onto non-SPNHF property. The road arrives at the South end of the pond and a beautiful view across the water up to a South facing ledge and the East peaks. I must find that ledge and build a trail to it! A blue heron flew over head and circled the pond. Then he quickly vanished back over the trees. Guess I was in his spot or he didn't want to see me! I took some picks and headed back up to the main road.

Bowser Pond Trail
I hiked down the junction with Piper Mt. Trail and began trimming branches. This section was already done once but Scott said it needed to be trimmed a little more. I worked my way down the road, at one point hearing a large animal walking through the woods. Being alone and so close to the largest body of water in 2,000 acres I was already nervous of Bear and Moose! So, startled I yelled out "hey" and began to make a lot of noise. Silence was all I heard in return! I then pulled my keys out and hooked them to my backpack strap so they would jingle and make some extra noise.

Old Row Boat
Back to work I continued cutting, noticing an old row boat in the woods near the fork in the road. I worked my way all the way back to the top of the hill and explored this spot as a possible trail entrance for a straight shot back down to the parking lot. There was thick young pine here as below so I decided to wait on this until I had Scott with me. So I walked down the road, down the hill and came out at it's end on New Portsmouth Rd. next to an old home. Tired and hot I called it a day and headed home. I hope to finish cutting this trail and blazing it by the end of August!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Phoebes Nable Mt. & Burrows Farm 7/24/11

"Crispy With a Chance of Being Stung!" (pictures)

Phoebes Nable Mt.
With another humid day Saturday and the promise of a slightly more comfortable, sunny day for Sunday we opted to work Saturday and hike Sunday. We planned for Garfield but decided to see if we got up early and how we felt. Scott got up at 6am and watched the weather report. The forecast called for morning showers and it didn't look promising outside! I also woke up at 6am, turned the alarm off and rolled back over and was back out in no time! I crawled out of bed at 7:30, woke Scott who was now back in bed also and we dragged ourselves downstairs. We then spent the morning doing yard word and running errands ... so much for hiking, LOL!

3pm rolled around and simultaneously we both thought about doing a small hike on Moose Mountains Reservation! I've said it once and I'll say it again, as much time as I've spent up there it still hasn't gotten old! There's always something different! So we arrived at the empty parking lot at 3:30pm. We checked the map box to find 3 maps had been taken since Friday! That's about 16 maps total in the 3 weeks I've been printing them off :^) We parked further up the road and began our hike. I wanted to hike to the junction below Phoebes Nable and down to Mountain Road hoping to finally find Moose Mountain!

Dried-up "crispy" blueberry bushes
We passed through the field and checked on the Burrows Cemetery. The Lily's we planted were still blooming despite the obvious burning they had received from the excessive heat we had! The field was lined with flowering Meadowsweet and Steeplebush, there seems to be something different flowering up here every week! We took a left across the field to continue on Burrows Farm Trail and up to the height-of-land at the Phoebes Nable junction. Here the blueberry bushes and trees were notably dried-up, yellow and very crispy!

Dried-up 'summit' brush
We headed on down the other side to the corner. Here I looked my map over and realized just how long Mountain road was as it looped around near the Moose Mountain Summits and back to the field. So I thought we should head back and start out at the field and try and find our way to the mountains from there. As we passed the Phoebes Nable Trail we looked around for a sign of a skid road. By the looks of the satellite maps there is a skid road that possibly connect from the kiosk parking to just above this junction. We walked the woods up to the summit of Phoebes Nable with no luck. Brush was dried-up here too and we headed back down deeper in the woods looking for a road of some kind.

Bouncing Bet (soapwort)
With no luck again we continued through the woods past several ledge outcrops and we came out on Burrows Farm trail below the Phoebes Nable junction. From here we walked back down to the field and up another woods road that connects to the road behind the Burrows Farm site and up past the mountains to Mountain road. After passing the road junction we soon lost the woods road. It was just too overgrown to make out it's route. So we turned back and headed down the other road back out to the Burrows Farm site. Confused yet!? Here there were Bouncing Bet flowers in bloom. Always something new!

Bald-faced Hornet Nest
Just past the large rock I walked in the thicket of plants to take a picture of the apple tree. I looked down next to my left foot to see a hornet nest. Yikes! Glad I didn't step on it!! They turned out to be Bald-faced hornets! The paper nest was the size of one of those mini-basketballs. Careful should you walk off trail in a thicket! That was it. We headed back down and finished our explorations at 4:30pm.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Most Current MMR Hiker Map

Updated 7/21/11
For a larger clearer map, view on flickr> MAP

Bowser Pond 7/18/11

"A weekday walk-around" (pictures)

Just a quick walk today. I printed 2 maps to put in the mailbox. All five were gone after only 4 days! So I guess I'll have to print more off! We hiked up to the Burrows Cemetery to check on the lily's. A couple had flowered and it looked nice! Then we headed back down and up North Trail, took a right onto Piper Mt. Trail. We checked out Bowser Pond then continued down Piper Mt. trail as we hadn't been down past this point.

On the left was a grown-in skid road. Scott wanted to check it out so we climbed the hill for a pretty good view across to the pond. We then snaked our way through the various grown-in roads to arrive back onto Piper Mt. Trail at the top of the hill. We made the walk back to the truck and called it a day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Burrows Cemetery Work, Burrows Farm & North Road 7/14/11

"A busy day at the MMR" (pictures)

Woods Road
I dug up some old fashioned lily's from an overflow garden of ours a few days ago and had them sitting in a 5 gallon pale. After spending two afternoons at the MMR I figured it wouldn't hurt to make another trip and get these lily's planted in front of the Burrows Cemetery. It was lacking color and was in need of some attention now that the overgrowth is all cleared away. So I packed up my truck and headed out. There was a car in the parking lot so I figured I would see another hiker today. I checked the map box to find another map had been taken. I drove up to where the seasonal river crosses the road and parked in my usual spot. The second I stepped out of my truck the horse/deerfly's were on me! Dozens of them ... "quiver". I carried the pale and shovel up the road ... a little heavy but not too bad. I cut across the Stevens Cemetery road stopping to spray myself down with bug spray as the horsefly's were REALLY getting on my nerves!! I climbed the hill and plopped my stuff down in front of the cemetery. I then proceeded to plant a group of lily's at each of the 4 posts.

Burrows Cemetery
It was then I spotted the hiker! She came up the road and asked if I was Jason? Her name rang a bell and turned out she was a facebook friend from the hiking community! We chatted a bit and she asked how to get to Phoebes Nable Mt. I pointed her in the right direction and off she went! The SPNHF sign workshop is this coming week on 7/19&20 and we hope to get some signs in place at the junctions to lessen the confusion! I returned to the cemetery and decided to haul some large stones over to cap off the inner lily's at the entrance. I enjoy landscaping and building rock walls and the stones I brought over fit perfectly together as if they were meant to be! After I got 4 stones down and tucked in I took a break and just relaxed. This is always such a relaxing, quite area. After my break I headed back down to the truck.

Six-spotted Skimmer
I then drove down to the North Road landing and parked. I threw my bag back on and was going to do a walk down to Bowser Pond to inspect my blazing from the previous day. Instead I spotted a beautiful Twelve-spotted Skimmer Dragonfly! I chased this guy around for nearly 10 minutes and he just would not let me get a picture! He finally perched way up on a twig from a tree that was hanging over a banking. I crawled underneath and got a picture of him from below.

At this point I scrapped my hike down to the pond and figured I would save it for when Scott got home from work, perhaps he would like to take a walk. So I picked up the beer cans and other trash lying around and put it in a pile for pick up at another time. I then began to hear voices and a rumbling noise. I thought perhaps it was ATV's but it turned out to be a helicopter passing over head. As I rounded the corner heading back down the voices were a father and his kids coming up the road. Another person who knew who I was! He said he took my last map and I pointed him down Bowser Pond Trail.

Goldenrod Spider
Back at my truck I ran into the lady I met earlier and another woman coming up the road with a young kid. She also knew who I was and was very thankful for the work we have been doing up here. She said she has been hiking the trails for 5 years and was excited to see the work being done and the information and reports online. So many people we've met these past couple weeks, all very happy with the work being done ... makes me all the more excited and determined to keep at it!

When Scott got home he said he was up for a walk. I printed off 5 more maps and off we went. Good thing it's close by for us with all the times I've been up there! We parked at the lot, put the maps in the box and battled the horsefly's along the road. Scott wanted to see the work I'd done at the cemetery so we passed the turn for the pond and headed up towards Burrows Farm. Mushrooms are coming out now much to our excitement! I love taking photo's of shrooms! We passed the lady I had talked to earlier with the child, whom was passed out on her back. Good job mom! It is always so nice to see parents bringing there kids hiking! It's how my parents raised us kids and it is a wonderful thing!

Old Automobile Cab Frame
We arrived at the cemetery and then walked up to the farm site. Scott decided he wanted to do some exploring in the woods and we stumbled upon stone foundations! Awesome! I thought the farm was filled in, but turns out the foundations are hidden in the trees! We looked around at all the old rotted beams and broken bottles and metal. Scott also spotted an old Automobile cab frame back behind the foundations, cool! After our little exploration we headed back down, making a stop at the North Road landing to pick up the pile of trash and we scoured the area and picked up more. Back at the parking lot another car was parked with a man in it. He asked a couple questions then asked if we had passed a guy. Apparently we must have missed him when we were up on North Road. Another map was already taken so I am assuming the guy was doing a quick hike or something. That was it for the day. Hope to get back up there soon to do some more blazing! Nice meeting all of you on the trails!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Piper Mountain Trail & Bowser Pond Trail Blazing 7/13/11

"Two Hours of Time, One Mile of Yellow" (pictures)

Landing at North/Piper Mt. Roads
After two days of humid weather it was a rather nice day Wednesday ... hot, but a nice breeze blowing. So I decided to head back to Moose Mountains Reservation to work on some more trail blazing. I decided on blazing the Piper Mt. Trail to Bowser Pond. I drove up past the kiosk, checked the new map box to find 2 more maps had been taken! Guess I better print some more up! I continued driving taking a right at the North Road junction and parking at the landing where Piper Trail enters on the right. After some thought on the trail names on the property I am thinking this trail should be called Piper Link Trail as it doesn't actually climb the mountain, rather it links over to Piper Mt. Road.

First Piper Mt. Trail Blaze
Anyhow I clipped some trees leaning over in front of the snow mobile trail information signage and began my first blaze at about 12:45pm. The sun was hot but the breeze kept things mostly comfortable. I was thinking about the SPNHF crew on Mt. Monadnock doing trail work the past few days in the horrible heat! I would have liked to join them but the drive is way to long, especially having to head right to work when I got back. Besides, I have plenty to still do here!

Calico Pennant
After finishing the first two blazes at the entrance point I noticed a dragonfly landing here-and-there on the tops of dried up flower stems. It was so beautiful! I kept trying to get close so I could get a macro shot of it but it just wouldn't sit still. I chased this guy (and it is red, so literally a guy!) around for 5 minutes thinking I was supposed to be blazing trails, not chasing bugs around with my camera! The dragonfly then hovered and circled around my head several times as if to say, "get lost! This is my territory!" My patience finally paid off though and I got a beautiful shot of this Calico Pennant :)

Moose Marker & Blaze
Then it was down the road spotting ahead for a good tree, cutting the brush back, and slapping on a blaze. This continued until I reached the banking high above Bowser Pond. From here there is a grown-in woods road on the right. I cut the overgrowth back just enough for a visible trail and continued my blazes about 100 feet. Here there is somewhat of a clearing down the banking to the pond that Scott and I had found before. I built a small cairn here with nearby rocks and decided to put my "Blue Moose Marker" here.

Bowser Pond
Then I trimmed the trees and blazed down to the waters edge. I was a little disappointed to not see any herons or ducks. Probably not a good time of day for them and perhaps the noise scared them away! The pond is pretty just-the-same with a few dots of yellow water lily buds on top of the water. I also spotted a couple turtles sun bathing on some logs further up along the shore.  I stood here for a few minutes relaxing and scanning the pond. I watched as half-a-dozen swallows catching bugs swooped over the water. Then I climbed the banking, clearing the rotted logs and what-not from the foot path.

Indian Pipe
Indian Pipe is coming up and blooming right now, so I had to take a picture of one. It was so cute there next to the trail. And they are my mothers favorite. My mission half complete it was now time to blaze back to my starting position! It was getting hotter out and I was already getting a little exhausted, sticky and hot. And it was nearly all uphill going back. I spotted a very bright yellow Clouded Sulpher Butterfly and really wanted a picture of it! It was very quick and would not sit still for more than a second. It kept making it's way back down the trail. I was getting tired and was not about to go back the other way, so I gave up on this one. Better luck next time! I ended my day at 2:45. I have been surprised at just how long such a simple looking task can take ... A total of 1 mile of trail blazing in 2 hours! It is very rewarding and exciting though to be putting the first blazes on this property!

Updated MAP 7/13/11

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Burrows Farm 7/11/11

"Bad Bugs, Good Bugs" (pictures)

New Map Box
Scott being sick over this past beautiful weekend we had, we didn't get around to hiking at all. Come Monday morning I was itching for a hike. Scott had bought a mailbox Sunday evening for me to paint and to put my Moose Mountains maps in for the kiosk. So I figured I'd get our "snazzy" looking map box up and take a quick walk up to the Burrows Farm area. There was a truck parked in the lot and I wondered if it was an ATV user or a hiker. I placed the box and drove up the road, parking where the river crosses over the road. I generally just walk the road but if I'm doing any trail work or just checking on things I like to drive up to this point and avoid the long, buggy walk!

Goldenrod Spider
I strapped my little cooler on me, it was all I brought as it was very humid out and I would not be venturing beyond the field. The horse fly's and deer fly's were out in full force. I had about 15 of them all around exaggeration! I enjoyed the wildflowers along the road as always, finally catching a golden rod spider on a black-eyed susan. Good bug, at least to me! They are harmless after all. I also risked my life stopping to take pictures of the wood lily's along the way, getting swarmed and bit by the horse fly's.....BAD bugs! I continued on, stopping at a section where two red squirrels were chasing each other all over the place. Across the road, around the tree, up the tree, down the tree, back across the road, around some more trees, through the was funny to watch and listen too!

Wood Lily
At the field I checked on the Burrows Cemetery, then spotted a hiker with his dog. He was headed across the field for the Burrows Farm Site. I hate to bother people when there out enjoying themselves but I really want to introduce myself to as many people as I can who visit this property. More-or-less to let them know improvements are being made to the trails and to answer questions. Or better yet to find out any information they may have on the property, as I haven't been up here enough yet to hike all the different areas.

He said to me "you must be Jason?" I was a little surprised that someone knew who I was, LOL! Turns out he found my blog! Good to know I'm reaching people out there! He said he has been up here a lot on his snow mobile but never been here in the summer. He visited Phoebes Nable and is hoping to build up stamina for a Chocorua hike. We talked for a good 10 minutes about the property and other mountains. Very nice to meet you, enjoyed talking with you!

White Admiral Brushfoot
I "dilly-dallied" around the field taking pictures and just enjoying this beautiful spot. There's something about it that is just so peaceful and calm. I chased a butterfly around for a bit but it wouldn't let me shoot a picture of him. I stopped up at the farm site to find a turkey feather lying in the grass! A hawk feather on Phoebes Nable last week and now this! Must be a good omen or something! Heading back down and just leaving the field I spotted another butterfly. A White Admiral who seemed happy to let me take pictures of him. He even landed on my hand and was chilling out, I think I made a friend!! Poor little guy was pretty beat up. He eventually took off and I continued on my way. GOOD little bug!

Aphrodite Fritillary Brushfoot
At the bridge I jumped down to the water to dip my bandanna into and scared a green frog. I annoyed him for a minute or so taking all sorts of pictures. Gotta love us humans! After I cooled down and picked a tick off me...BAD bug, and got back on the road I soon found myself in a wonderland of aphrodite fritillary brushfoot butterfly's! GOOD bugs! They were all over the flowers and I was all over them snapping away at my camera! It was probably the highlight of the day for me! Once I had my fill of pictures I headed back to my truck and finished another lovely visit of Moose Mountains Reservation :) I talked Scott's ear off when he got home from work, guess I was all hyped up and energized! What can I say, I love the outdoors!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Phoebes Nable Mt. 7/7/11

"Just a Quicky" (pictures)

White Admiral Brushfoot
Just an afternoon hike. When Scott got home from work we headed for Moose Mountains. Funny, as much as I've been here it hasn't gotten old yet. There's always something new each time! We parked at the kiosk next to another truck. I left one of my new SPNHF cards on the window in case we didn't run into the person on the trails. As we headed up the now blazed trail/road that we completed July 4th and 5th we were encircled by dozens of deer fly's. As we passed the junction with North View Road we saw a lone hiker coming down the road. We introduced ourselves and turned out he was with the Moose Mountains Regional Greenways! We chatted a bit and answered questions he had about the property.

Hawk Feather
We continued on, spotting a butterfly which let me take a picture of it. We passed the aromatic field of wild strawberries, crossed it and headed up the trail to the summit of Phoebes Nable. I ate a couple of the sweet blueberries that were ripening all over. We explored around the summit checking out some ledges and partial views. Scott spotted a Hawk feather on the ground. A pretty cool find I think! The wing feather is 1.5 ft. long and is missing the tip.

Aphrodite Fritillary Brushfoot
Found another butterfly hovering around and got some pictures of it. After a break on the summit we headed back down. We passed two four wheelers coming up the trail. They said hello as they passed. They weren't abusing the property or anything like that so we didn't bother saying anything (as ATV use is technically not allowed on the property).

Wood Lily
As we got back onto New Portsmouth Road we spotted a couple Wood Lily's! Awesome!! You don't see these beautiful lily's very often! In fact, of all the hiking I do in the lakes region and White Mountains I've only seen one on Sandwich Notch Road. So it was very exciting to see a handful of them here at Moose Mountains! The wild raspberries are also ripening and I tasted one of these as well, and it was yummy! We finished our hike clocking in at about 1.5 hours. There's always an animal or new flower to see here. Keeps things interesting!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Moose Mountains Reservation Trail Blazing 7/4/11

"Moose Mountains First Trail Blaze!" (pictures)

Jason getting ready at the trailhead
After a long and exhausting but beautiful day on Webster and Jackson Saturday, then work on Sunday we canned the Mt. Major firework hike for Sunday night. It was wet and drizzly anyway. We decided to save our energy for trail blazing on Monday. We took our time in the morning getting things done and what-not then packed up a lunch and some snacks and headed down the road to Middleton. We parked and got all our supplies and equipment together and started out at 12:15pm.
The First MMR Trail Blaze!

The first blaze went up a moment later. It was very exciting for us. We always thought about how cool It would be to buy land with a pond and mountain and build hiking trails on it. When we signed up for the SPNHF Land Steward class we never thought we'd get that opportunity. We don't own the land but it's basically a clean slate as far as trail blazing and building! And so many scenic, historic and interesting features too! It's a perfect fit for us!

Scott Clearing some Trees
We battled the horsefly's and mosquito's up New Portsmouth road (Burrows Farm trail), Scott cutting the brush and small trees and I did the blazing. We made a great team! This and most of the trails on this property are woods roads so blazing could be kept to the minimum. Basically we looked for the most prominent trees and stuck to blazing on the corners of the roads and at junctions. As easy as this sounds or even looks on a tree, it actual was pretty tough work in the heat. I think it was around 90 degrees! But at least it wasn't humid.

"SPNHF Blue" Moose Sign
When we finally got to the Burrows Cemetery we were hot and tired and my hands were covered with paint. We sat here and ate our tasty lunch. It was so quite and peaceful. No signs of truck or ATV use. It was such a nice moment together, just the two of us! I removed the moose sign I had on the tree and replaced it with a new "blue" moose that shows up better. Then we continued on.

Nailing up the Blue Moose
Here the actual trail crosses the top of the field. This is an unused spot as most hikers continue straight and take a left farther up. This is actually private property. I'm glad I saw that on the map before we blazed because that is the way I had been going! So we wanted to be sure to blaze this area well! A big pine tree lay in the perfect spot for both directions and so I blazed this tree well! Then we headed across the field and cut and double blazed at the rock pile in the middle. Then at the edge of the woods we cut and double blazed here as well.

Scott Clearing some Brush
This was our stopping point. We'd had enough for one day and were getting tired. Not to mention we had to blaze back in the other direction! So we headed back. Good thing too because as we passed the cemetery we began hearing loud rumbles of thunder and saw black clouds to the North! We decided to chance it and continued to blaze but at a quicker pace! We passed a parked truck on the upper landing at the North Road junction and arrived at our truck with no rainfall, phew! As we packed up the truck we had seen passed by and an older couple waved as they passed. We finished at 3:00pm and were surprised at just how long we were blazing! "3 hours, really?" "That takes longer than you think!" But now that it's done it just has to be easily up-kept! We will keep-at-it with the blazing of trails and mid-July we will be getting some signs made and put up and MMR will be hiker friendly for all to enjoy :)