On Wednesday, October 19, 2016 I hiked with Jim Cluett, W1PID and Dave Benson, K1SWL up to the Bald Ledge scenic vista. We were blessed with a bright sunny day with temperatures pressing up against 70 F. In the sun it felt more like 80 F.
This plain sign does a great job of downplaying what you’re to see should you venture down its path. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
The fall color was at its peak and it was mesmerizing to be walking through the woods to experience Mother Nature’s handiwork. Jim and Dave were going to try to see how many QSOs they could extract from the ether during the CWT sprint.
This is a fast-speed contest and there’s no way my CW, or Morse code, skills are at that level to compete. I was just there because I love the outdoors, Bald Ledge is one of my favorite hikes and the view this day would be stunning.
Bald Ledge was created by the last period of continental glaciation here in North America. The enormous glacier, thousands of feet thick, slowly crept over the landscape grinding and tearing at solid bedrock. It did this over thousands of years starting at the North Pole on its way to New Hampshire eventually covering all of New England and much of the upper Midwest of the USA.
It’s direction of travel was from the northwest here in our part of New Hampshire and as it passed over mountains it created a gentle slope facing northwest but plucked rock from the southeast-facing slopes of all the terrain around much of eastern New England. This plucking action created steep rock faces just like Bald Ledge. You can clearly see this in a topographic map. Here’s just a small section of a topographic map of New Hampshire.
The red arrow points to Bald Ledge. (C) Copyright 2016 Google Maps Google Inc.
This was to be a simple hiking trip for me to soak up all the splendor as autumn is my favorite season. You’ll see why as you peer at the following photos.
We started our journey from 90 acres I own in New Hampton, NH. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Here’s more of the 90 acres. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Looking across the Pemigewasset River from Old Bristol Road in New Hampton, NH. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Stunning color heading up Dana Hill Road in New Hampton, NH. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Jim’s hiking boots on the Class VI road leading to Bald Ledge. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Dave and Jim walking up through a tunnel of color on the Class VI road. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
“We’re walking on a carpet of color,” mused Jim Cluett, W1PID. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
This is the primary view. In person, your eyes convert this to an 85 mm lens view. The mountains in this photo seem so far away. In person, they’re much much closer. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Jim (left) and Dave (right) enjoying the vista before getting ready to get on the air. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Jim caught me in a trance looking out at the Squam Mountains that protect Squam Lake from fierce winter winds. (C) Copyright 2016 Jim Cluett
Jim is on the air and capturing invisible radio waves that bring him immeasurable pleasure. I wish you could be with him to see how much happiness a QSO creates for him. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
Here’s Dave doing fast CW. In just a matter of minutes he made contact with five other radio operators. (C) Copyright 2016 Jim Cluett
A quite tall tree is growing on top of solid bedrock at the vista. It’s gnarled roots stretch and grasp the cracks in the rock looking for nutrients and water. They’ve done a magnificent job for years. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
After hiking back to the cars, we were treated with this eye candy. “I need four more pairs of eyes,” exclaimed Jim while we talked to each other on mobile radios in our trucks and cars. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter
I wish my wife Kathy had been with me. This is one of her favorite color combinations. The fall of 2016 in central New Hampshire was absolutely one of the best. (C) Copyright 2016 Tim Carter