It's unclear to me why the French phrase of "C'est fini" popped into my head upon finishing my trail-adopter work on the Martha's Mile trail located high upon Cherry Mountain. Perhaps it's because subconsciously I know that it was the early French explorers who had originally named the current day Cherry Mountain as Pondicherry Mountain. Or maybe my mind was making a "French-connection" with the upcoming games at the Stanley Cup!
Regardless, I have adopted several trails in the Whites, and with the completion of the work on the Martha's Mile trail, my spring clean-up duties are finished. I enjoy doing trail work and so my "C'est fini" is not said with a sense of relief, but more as a sense of accomplishment. I'm already looking forward to starting the whole process again when putting all my trails to bed in the autumn and seeing how they fared over the summer months.
I try not to play favorites with my adopted trails, but I must say that Martha's Mile is my favorite! To continue with the French theme, this trail has a certain "je ne sais quoi" quality about it which is appealing to me. Perhaps it's because this trail has such a cozy feeling. It's a narrow 0.8 mile long strip that runs along the forested ridgeline of Cherry Mountain and it serves to connect the peaks named Mt. Martha and Owl's Head.
Shown below is a segment of the Martha's Mile Trail.
Besides the coziness of the trail, another source of appeal is that there are views at both end of this trail. The Mt. Martha end of the trail offers views of the Presidential, Franconia, and Pilot mountain ranges. But, for whatever reason, the view I find most pleasing is the vista of Crawford Notch with the pointy profile of Mt. Chocorua in the background (on the right-hand side).
Once again, I'm playing favorites, but I prefer the Owl's Head peak over Mt. Martha. For one thing, there are some very comfortable ledges at this location where one can sprawl out. And the view toward the Presidential Range is outstanding (at least in my opinion).
From this location, you are close enough to make out many of the details of the Presidentials even with the naked-eye. However with binoculars, or a zoom camera lens, even more detail is visible.
Also at Owl's Head, you are frequently entertained by turkey vultures that swoop and sway while riding the thermals in search of stuff (or just to have fun). I wasn't disappointed on this trip. The "big birds" put on quite a show!
I'll just bore you with one more reason why I find Martha's Mile to be my favorite adopted trail. I access Martha's Mile via the Cherry Mountain Trail. In the spring, this access route has quite a number of wildflowers along the way. We've all seen tons of wildflower photos, and so I've selected just one snapshot taken during my trek on 31-May-2011. I'm no expert on wildflowers, but I think the one shown below is called the Foam Flower.
Oh! Shown below is one more photo of a plant, but it's not a wildflower! Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this colorful image is the immature pine cone of a Red Spruce tree.
Besides the usual trail work activities (such as brushing, removal of downed trees, etc), the other thing accomplished on this work trip was to paint some additional blazes along the Martha's Mile corridor. This will (hopefully) make for easier trail navigation during winter. You might recall my Blog report from earlier this year where even I (the trail adopter!) had difficulty locating the trail during snow season! (Click HERE to view that report.)
To sum it up, my trail work for this spring season is completed. Hopefully, the work done by trail adopters such as myself will serve to enhance the experience of the many folks who hike the trails within the White Mountain National Forest.--------------------------
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