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26 September 2013

Venturing into Little Tunnel Brook Ravine (north side of Mt Moosilauke)

Recently, I received an e-mail from Steve Smith, shortly after 8 AM.  He apologized for the short notice, but asked if I'd be interested in joining him for a bushwhack on that very day to explore the Little Tunnel Brook Ravine.

Having such short notice was not a problem.  However, it would be a problem for me to gather things together and be out the door in a timely manner.  Not wanting to holdup Steve,  I declined his offer.  But, in a most generous gesture of kindness, he offered to delay his start time and wait for me.  And so, with a very late morning start, we headed off for Little Tunnel Brook Ravine.

Before going any further with this narration, I strongly urge you to read Steve's Blog report which contains terrific background information, as well as a truly excellent description and photo-documentation of our adventure!  Click HERE for Steve's report.

Since Steve's report is so thorough and complete, there is very little that I can add in terms of narrative or photos.  Therefore, perhaps the best approach is to merely present a few of the snapshots that I took during our trek. These images might serve to further emphasize the beauty that we experienced at various points along the way.

Upon accessing the northern end of the ravine from an old logging road, we traveled along the banks of Little Tunnel Brook as we trekked southward toward the headwall.
Scene along Little Tunnel Brook near the beginning of our trek
Steve photographing one of the many picturesque scenes as we wandered up the ravine
As we climbed higher up the valley floor, the cascades gradually became higher
And then,  just a tiny bit higher
Eventually, the cascades became not only higher, but more abundant and pervasive
And then, we reached the 'grand prize' located high up on the headwall of the ravine
The 'grand prize' cascade is probably about 100-ft high, and although this torrent of water is quite striking, it is unnamed!

After we finished our trek, Steve and I drove to the same spot that he had visited earlier in the day before we met up.  From a high bank along the road near the junction of Rt. 112 and Rt. 116, we could look back at the area where we had bushwhacked.  I was truly astonished that our 'grand prize' cascade could be seen off in the distance, about 3 miles away from where we were standing.  (In the next photo, the red arrow points to the cascade.)
Our 'grand prize' cascade as viewed from a high roadside bank near Rts. 112 and 116
For any reader who might be unfamiliar with the location of our bushwhack adventure, perhaps the map shown below might be of some use.  As a further point of reference, this location is about 8 miles west of I-93 (Lincoln /North Woodstock).
Map showing the general location of our bushwhack
To sum it up, I must say that this day turned out to be a surprise in the truest sense of the word.  When I woke up in the morning, I had no idea that later in the day I would be trekking into the remarkable Little Tunnel Brook Ravine, and witnessing the awesome beauty of a huge cascade.  Life is full of surprises!


Steve Smith said...

Great capture of a memorable day, John! Thanks for agreeing to this trek on such short notice. Glad you enjoyed the surprise!


1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for posting your comments, Steve. Here's hoping that all my 'surprises' in life are as pleasant as this one! :-)


Ellen Snyder said...

Hey John -- Fantastic photos of those beautiful cascades. And so much water still in the streams despite the calendar. It is always a wonder that water keeps coming from higher up in the hills (or mountains). Just beautiful scenery. I'm glad you were able to join Steve on such a trek; what a treat.


1HappyHiker said...

Ellen, like you, I also am often amazed that in many locations, regardless of the time of year, there is a flow of water tumbling down over cascades. Just one of the many things to love about New England!

Thanks for your comments!


Rita Wechter said...

Unplanned adventures such as this one can be awesome experiences. What a great day you had, and what a gorgeous location!
John, your pictures from the ravine are simply stunning! I can imagine this spot will be getting even more colorful and more beautiful in the coming weeks—you'll have to plan a return visit.
It's pretty cool to see that 100 ft. waterfall from three miles away.
Thanks again for including the map; it really helps to get the lay of the land.
Another great report John!

Summerset said...

Such a beautiful area! It was great that you both were able to make it work out so that you were able to enjoy what ended up being such a beautiful and interesting trip. Life is full of surprise and wonder if you take the time to look!

1HappyHiker said...

Rita . . . you are so right about unplanned adventures often turning out to be awesome experiences! This was certainly the case with this one.

Glad to read that you were also ‘taken’ with that view of the cascade from 3 miles away. I had no idea that it would be viewable with the naked eye from that distance.

Thank you for taking time to post your comments, and especially for your kind words about my photos.


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Summerset,

It was indeed great that things worked out so nicely. I’m grateful to Steve for his kindness by delaying his start time so that I could join him on this adventure.

And yes, as you say: “Life is full of surprise and wonder if you take the time to look”. Who knew there would be such beautiful and interesting things in a trailless ravine named Little Tunnel Brook! :-)