As mentioned, if Rhode Island is where I grew up, then New Hampshire is where I developed my love for the wild places.
Those northern New England woods and mountains hold many fond memories and experiences for me.
On my recent trip, I went to see the Bondcliffs again.
One of the premier scenic places in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
For various reasons (flight delay, weather, other issues), I did not quite get to do the backpacking trip I wanted.
But I still had a memorable day hike.
On Monday morning, my buddy Tim picked me up at one of my brother’s house and we drove up to New Hampshire.
What seemed so far away in earlier years is in reality only a three-hour or so drive from most points in Rhode Island.
A shorter drive by Western standards. But it loomed large when most places where I grew up are a thirty minute drive away at the most.
We soon arrived at the Lincoln Woods TH and made our way up the old rail bed.
A popular trail. Usually busy and crowded.
On a Monday morning? Rather peaceful.
I had forgotten how thick, lush and green the woods are in northern New England.
We left the easy rail bed eventually and started the climb in earnest.
After some steeper trail, we popped out above treeline.
The alpine zone of New Hampshire is where I fell in love with the outdoors.
And I was reminded why.
I had come home.
We quickly made it to the iconic cliffs themselves.
Unusual for New England, there were no views of anything human made.
Just the woods. The rocks. And the mountains I still remembered well.
We sat in the sun. Savored the view. And the (relative) isolation of this area.
One last view to the Mt. Bond itself and time to head back.
The hike back was uneventful. That is until we were less than three miles from the car and on the old rail grade.
Tim and I heard a large rustle in the woods. Tim then spotted a large, but lanky, creature on a tree!
We had spotted a black bear.
A bit too big to be a cub, it was not filled out yet. An adolescent bear essentially. Too big to have momma around. Luckily!
We moved by and I took a series of photos. Luckily I have a 600mm optical zoom lens equivalent. Photos could safely be taken.
Seeing this black bear, and taking these photos, will be one of the best memories of my outdoor life.
We did not stay long. The poor guy was obviously frightened. And it is not wise to frighten a creature who is bigger, faster, stronger than my friend or myself. With teeth and claws as well.
Time to move on.
After a customary local brew and a burger, we drove back to Tim’s house in Rhode Island.
The next part of my vacation began.