Monday, May 6, 2013

The Roost 5/5/13

Working title: Never pass up a golden opportunity

Peak: None

Trails: Roost Trail, roadwalk

Mileage/time: 2.2 miles, ~650 feet of gain, book time of 1:25, actual time of 1:07

After a fantastic long weekend, I felt the need to get out and hike something. I had a great experience at SOLO in Conway, getting my WFA certification, and though I hope to never have to use the skills learned, it was all good information to have. Originally, I'd planned to hike the Doubleheads with Samantha, but when I wasn't able to reach her, I decided to save them for another day. I had heard that Evans Notch Road was open, so I thought I'd take a drive out there, and see how things looked. As is typical, I stopped at the Basin for a picture or two (it photographs better in the morning), love this place.

Leafing out

Southeast spur of West Royce
Driving up the narrow, winding road, I saw snow along the roadside near the height of land in the notch, and pulled into the East Royce Trail lot. I changed into my hiking pants, but waffled. I did not have spikes with me, and the snow on the roadside made me think that there might be snow and ice at higher elevation. Erring on the side of caution, I drove down the road to the northern trailhead for The Roost, the signs for which, I've seen for years. The map told me a loop was possible, so I started up. Most of the ~650 feet of gain gets done in the 0.5 miles to the peak, and the trail was mostly dirt, covered in leaves and needles, traveling through open hardwoods.

Wild Oat Flower

Roost Trail
 Reaching the high point, a short spur trail leads down to various ledges, with great views southwest into the heart of the Wild River Wilderness, and some southerly views towards Evans Notch that you have to work. This spot would be better served, photographically speaking, in the morning, as the sun is directly in your face in the late afternoon.

Wild River Valley, Wildcats in the distance

South towards Evans Notch
The descent was much the same as the ascent, with the terrain being soft, and not very rocky, though pesky leaves made running a treacherous endeavor. After a small crossing, the trail turns onto an old woods road, and runs straight and flat for a while, nice running in the long shadows of late afternoon.


The last crossing, and the subsequent roadwalk, provided a little history lesson. Once I reached the crossing, I noticed a stone wall in the middle of the stream, and on the far bank, remains of a foundation, and bricks. These were part of an old mill, from the logging days, when the Wild River Valley was being ravaged, and the town of Hastings bustled on the banks of Evans Brook and the Wild River.


Once I reached the road, I shortly saw a stone foundation on the side of the road, another remnant of bygone years, that I've never seen in all my years of driving along this road. Just goes to show, it's more interesting being on foot. I was also able to gaze for a few minutes at the confluence of Evans Brook and the Wild River.

Cellar hole

Confluence
I saw no cars on my 0.8 mile roadwalk, and after pulling a nice 3-point turn, I started south, towards home. Lately, I've been in the habit of pulling over, if I see a scene to capture, and I missed a big one. Driving on 113, there's a Universalist Chapel at an intersection, in the middle of farm fields. When I drove past, it was bathed in golden, orange light, and it wasn't until 2 miles down the road that I realized what I'd missed. I turned around as soon as I could, and sped back to the church... but I'd missed it, by mere moments. Here's what I got instead.

Lesson learned

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