Monthly Archives: February 2013

Little Bigelow Mountain Maine – Winter Hike

As I stated in one of previous posts, I had intended on hiking Little Bigelow mountain in western Maine a couple of weeks ago to capture the full moon, but with temperatures dropping into the negative numbers and windy conditions that evening, the hike was called off. Well, Tammy and I made the trek during the day last Saturday, Feb. 2. It was a nice, sunny, blue sky day when we set out from my folks place in Strong. We drove to N. New Portland and up through Lexington to the East Flagstaff Road, which provides access to the Eastern side of the Bigelow Preserve. We reached the intersection with the Appalachian trail shortly after and checked the snow conditions. Not much of it and what was left was pretty dense and solid. No need for snowshoes today. This is a pretty popular winter hike and the trail was packed pretty nicely from previous snowshoers. We slipped on our Kahtoola micro spikes, put enough layers on to stay warm (not too warm) while hiking, grabbed our gear and set off for the summit.

From the East Flagstaff Road intersection with the Appalachian trail to the summit of Little Bigelow is 3.0 miles. The first 1.4 miles was very gradual and follows a small stream. At the 1.4 mile mark is a side trail leading to the Little Bigelow lean to. I’ve stayed here many times over the years, the most recent being last summer with my niece as we ended our north bound hike over the Bigelow range. One time I spent the night here I came face to face with a moose in the middle of the night while taking care of some ‘business’! The stream at the lean to cascades into very narrow, deep pools called the “Tubs”.  Even in the middle of August, the water here is cold enough to give you a head ache. Today the water was flowing over ice cascades. Very nice…. We stopped for a quick bite and continued on.

From this point, the trail gets steeper, but not too steep. It seems fairly short as there are multiple ledges on the ascent providing view points as you increase elevation. The views helped to keep my motivation up. Much better than slogging through the snow in the woods all day. When we finally reached the summit (3,040 ft.) the sky had changed from blue to cloudy gray with the threat of snow showers. This summit provides an awesome perspective of Carrabassett Valley with Sugarloaf to the West and the Bigelow range to the North. As you summit, you come out of the evergreens and approach the back side of a huge cliff dropping off into the valley. As you reach the top of the cliff, the valley just opens up in front of you. Breathtaking! We summited at shortly after 2:00 PM, immediately put on all of the layers that we had packed with us and donned our warmer hats and mittens. It was in the single digits with a light breeze. Not too chilly, but it did work into your bones if you didn’t move around. I really wanted to stay at the summit until sunset, but with the weather conditions it didn’t look like we would get much of a show. Took some B&W pix and headed back to the warm truck! Round trip: 6 miles. Time: appx. 4 leisurely hours.

Bigelow Range from Little Bigelow Mountain Maine

Bigelow Range from Little Bigelow

Posted in Photo Blog, Uncategorized

On My Way to Work this Morning…

Just a quick post to show what you can get if you keep your equipment with you at all times! I try to keep my camera gear in the car whenever I go anywhere just in case. I have been caught too many times with unique lighting or atmospheric conditions and not have my gear with me. This is the shot I came across on my way to work this morning. It is along Center Minot Hill Road in Minot, Maine. Wish it didn’t have the broken portion of the trunk showing, but you can’t have everything all of the time…. how about something some of the time…..

Silhouette

Silhouette

Posted in Photo Blog, Uncategorized

New Hampshire White Mountains – Glen Ellis Falls and Mount Washington

Saturday, January 26 was the night of a full moon and it was rising very close to sunset. Perfect! I had all kinds of ideas for locations to shoot the moon! The original plan was to head north and hike Little Bigelow Mountain from the East Flagstaff Road on the Appalachian trail. About a 6 mile round trip hike in snowshoes. I would be able to get some awesome pix of Sugarloaf and Bigelow with sunset and later that night with the full moon. Since it turned off brutally cold I worked on a backup plan. We would forgo the hike and drive to Eustis on Rt 27 to the North side of Bigelow with a view of the Horns over Flagstaff Lake. Awesome full moon pix to be had there. Well, that plan got waylaid also as my granddaughter became sick and Tammy went to my daughter’s apartment to help out. Plan three??? How about the north side of Mt. Washington from the top of Crawford Notch looking back toward the Mt. Washington Hotel. Plan!

I headed out in the afternoon and decided to stop along Rt 16 in Pinkham Notch on the Southeast side of Mt. Washington to see what Glen Ellis Falls would look like all iced up. The notch was brutally cold and windy, but I made it to the falls with only one other person there also taking pix. I spent the better part of an hour there and came up with this. I am still deciding if I can make it a better composition so it may look different when I am finished.

Glen Ellis Falls

Glen Ellis Falls

Headed up Crawford Notch on Rt 302 and parked at the viewpoint beside the road looking toward the Mt. Washington Hotel. I waited for sunset and wasn’t expecting much as it was quite overcast. But in the last few minutes before the sun set it shown beneath the clouds and lit the top of the mountains in brilliant pinks and reds! Took a bunch of photos and stitched them together for the panorama below. Unfortunately the mountains became quite cloudy as the moon was rising and I couldn’t see the moon at all. So much for the full moon shots, but hope you enjoy what I did get out of this trip.

Mt. Washington Panorama

Mt. Washington Panorama

 

Hoping to get to Little Bigelow this weekend, so stay tuned…..

Posted in Photo Blog, Uncategorized