So the plan was to head up Greeley Ponds Trail to Flume Brook Trail up to the Flume (not THE Flume, but a flume) then back to Old Skidder Trail to Livermore, then around the Mt. Tripyramid Trail then Livermore, Kettles Path to the Scaur, Scuar Trail back to Greeley Ponds and back to parking lot.
I got to Waterville Valley around 7:30 and it took a while to find the parking lot. I had been there before checking it out after hiking the Osceolas but the map and GPS showed a way to get there from the maze of condos in the village. Apparently you can not!!! So back to Tripoli road and then I quickly found the trail head. I started out at 8:00 with the trail to myself.
|Livermore Trailhead sign|
After a short distance the highway crosses a stream where apparently the mischievous beavers have been for I saw this box thing that I believe is placed to stop the beavers from building dams at the culvert and causing flooding problems. There were a few of these and one of them had so many leaves and sticks pushed up against the fencing that the water behind was a good foot higher than that below causing exactly what it was intended to prevent! I think sometimes these things are built shaped like a 'V' with the point heading upstream. Then again, this may have nothing to do with beavers at all...
|Anti Beaver Contraption|
|Looking upstream from the bridge|
The trail follows to the south of the stream along its length and at one point I spotted a nice campsite down next to the river. After a bit the sound of the rushing water grew in intensity and I was in the Flume. As in THE Flume, you pretty much have the same geological features: a cascade of water rushing through a gorge, the walls of which had to be well over 50 feet high (though could have been 100 - I can't judge heights)
The trail turned into a herd path, which then turned into a bushwack and the steep cliffs on either side vanished so I figured I had reached the top. I explored around a while and stopped for a quick snack and snapped a bunch of photos.
|This pool looked VERY inviting!|
After enjoying this great location all to myself I headed back down to the junction with the Old Skidder Trail.
|Skidder Trail overgrown with ferns|
|Level pleasant walk along Skidder Trail|
|More of the Livermore Highway|
|Looking up the slide|
|Looking back down the slide|
|And up up, more up to go!|
|Up the North Slide|
|Near top of slide looking straight down|
|This is how steep it is|
I reached the top of the slide which meant I deserved a break so I grabbed a snack, and started snapping photos. I found a setting on my camera to take panorama photos so I took some. I never read instructions and didn't know what they would do. But when I uploaded the photos to the computer and ran the software that came with the photo I was able to stitch them together:
|View from North Slide|
I then headed off into the woods along the trail and to the summit of North Tri, then middle and eventually south. This section was not all that exciting, some obstructed views here and there and it went pretty quickly. Just below the summit of south Tri, I saw more moose droppings. Way up here! Wow, I wonder how many moose have completed the 4k list?
At the top of the South Slide I found a perfect flat rock that asked me to sit upon it, enjoy the view, and eat some lunch. So not wanting to upset the rock any I took off my boots, took out my lunch and took in the views. I'm not sure how long I sat here, but it was a while and worth every minute!
|View from South Slide|
|At top of south slide looking down.|
|Not only are there 4k Moose Peakbaggers, Toads are working on the list as well!|
|Looking back up the s. slide|
|View along south slide|
Photos below sum up this section of the trail:
|OK, is my math wrong? What is wrong with this photo? 2.5 + 2.2 = 4.9????|
I came to another trail: Kettles. This would take me up to the Scaur and not knowing what a Kettle was, off I went. I never found a Kettle, or maybe I did find a Kettle and didn't know what I was looking at? But I did find a very confused Maple.
|OK, it is just way too early for a RED leaf!|
|This very large birch giant has fallen, backpack for size perspective. Did this tree make a sound when it fell in the woods when nobody was around?|
I was starting to get a bit tired at this point, and a little dehydrated. I had 4 liters of water with me when I started so I took a short break and drank half a liter. But after what I had done up to this point, even the trail up to the Scaur seemed very steep and difficult - my pace slowwwwed for sure.
When I got to the top of the Scaur I was beat so I took my pack off and layed down on the rocks. There was a great view here for the level of effort (that is if you come straight here first!) I ate my extra sandwhich which I guess was a 2nd lunch. Does having a 2nd lunch make me a hobbit?
|Approaching top of the Scaur|
|View from the Scaur|
|Final stream crossing on Scaur trail|
In any case, who cares about the numbers. This hike had it all, nice quiet easy flat strolls along wide paths, walks through forests, a flume, cascades, views, steeps, and a missing kettle.
Just what is a Kettle?