After my One Night In Pittsburg, it was time to head south again. Though I am always reluctant to leave. In part, I love the pace or the lack thereof up in the north country, then I also know that once I am back home, the pace waits for no one.
I went over to the ranger’s cabin to “check out” or just say good-bye. There I was greeted by Kevin (the ranger), and a young woman, recently retired, from the Midwest, who had just picked up her new camper trailer, but I did not get her name. As folks who are enthralled by the great outdoors and whom also love to revel while sipping coffee in the glow of stories shared as well; the three of us talked for quite awhile. I don’t know if people generally “check out” of Deer Mountain, but I felt the urge to stop and say goodbye. The conversation, laughter, and sharing with one another absolutely added to the overall experience of my stay in Pittsburg. Suddenly, though, I was on my way.
Of course, I turned left out of Deer Mountain, towards Canada, and more specifically, the 3rd Connecticut Lake. The scene was beautiful as always, and several folks were already out on the water and fishing.
I went south down to the Moose Alley Trail and walked along the road, the river, and through the woods. I met several folks coming and going, mostly fishing or looking for photo opportunities featuring various wildlife, especially moose. I also ran into the two thru-hikers, who were in the early stages of hiking the Cohos Trail. These two guys had also been my neighbors, at site #6, in Deer Mountain Campground. Again, quick sharing of information and/or stories, and we all went our separate ways.
For me, I decided to follow a dirt path (driveable) just below the 1st Connecticut Lake Dam. I had never checked this place out before. Around the bend, I noticed that there were at least a half-dozen or more vehicles parked down the slope already. I parked and got out of my van while grabbing my camera. I walked down the hill to a spot where a pair of trails started, headed in opposite directions. I went down the first one, just a few feet really to the edge of the Connecticut River just below the dam.
So, I reversed my direction and followed the narrow path along the river. In case you are wondering, this is still a very wild area, in the Great North Woods. The river here was rushing as water was being released from the dam. A little further down the river, the water was rapid but it split into channels and reconnected again, and so on. It was pretty obvious that other than the dam, the water pretty much goes where it wants to.
Then despite numerous fishermen upriver from me, and several more that were downriver from me, none seemed to notice a Great Blue Heron that was fishing the river as well. I noticed the bird and proceeded to watch this majestic bird fish the Connecticut River from the water level (no waders needed).
After the heron left, I trekked back up to my vehicle and headed south. I did manage to head up and over Dixville Notch though, before turning south on Route 16. I did not see a single moose on the trip, but I did stop to take in some more beauty.
I enjoyed the ride down through the woods and mountains. Soon I was back in southern NH and stepped immediately into our family schedule. It’s always my pleasure though, to get some time in the wild north.