4th of July Weekend at GO Center
Weekend Trip DATE: 07/04/2014 - 07/06/2014
Trip/Event Location: Waterville Valley, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Swimming, BBQ, Fireworks, Webster Slide/Wachipauka Pond Hike & Swim and Phillip Phillips Concert at Meadowbrook! Celebrate Fourth of July with us by choosing the events you would like to...
If you plan being with us July 4th for sunbathing/soaking on the Mad River followed by the BBQ and fireworks, we'll email you directions to our house. Again, we need to know beforehand that you'll be joining us July 4th so we have enough food for everyone.
If you plan to join us for the hike on Saturday only, here are the directions: Take 93 North to Exit 26 to US 3/NH 25. Follow 4.3 miles to the traffic circle and bear right continuing on NH 25. Travel 20 miles on NH 25 to Glencliff, NH. The Wachipauka Pond traihead [also the Appalachian Trail with white blazes] is on NH 25, 0.6 mile west of the Glencliff, NH post office and 1.4 miles west of the junction of NH 25 and NH 112. There is an obvious dirt parking area along the road. We'll be driving a blue FJ Cruiser.
Fourth of July ended up being a cloudy day with scattered showers. We cancelled the swimming event in the morning and asked everyone to arrive instead at 5PM for the BBQ. Andrew and Colin were already driving down from Montreal so I had a pleasant afternoon catching up with what they have been up to. We decided to check out the Mad River. The water level was high and fast. It was too dangerous to cross since the risk of being carried downstream and being smashed by rocks too great.
After 5pm, everyone started to arrive. In total we were nine. Andrew/Colin brought this delicious salsa, sour cream and cheese dip with tortilla chips. Others brought tortilla chips and salsa. Steve and Dave made this great homemade Sangria with fresh fruit with plenty to share. We spent the next couple of hour snacking, drinking and sharing stories.
Jon put together a delicious meal consisting of grilled lime/pepper chicken, sausage and assorted peppers. Sides included corn on the cob, potato salad and cucumber/feta cheese/red onion and olives salad. We finished with a red, white and blue shortcake: strawberries, whipped cream and blueberries!
Having a full stomach and seeing it drizzling outside made it difficult to get motivated to drive down to Waterville Valley for fireworks...but that we did. We put on our rain shells and enjoyed a very good fireworks display. We returned back to the house and since we had to get up early the next morning for the hike, we started to retire around 11PM.
Colin sprained his ankle in the morning and was unable to join us on the hike. Steve and Colin decided to drive down to Manchester while the rest of us drove to the trailhead. We drove to the trailhead and met up with Brent and Dave.
We enjoyed a leisurely hike to Webster Slide Mountain and one of our favorite backcountry ponds to take a dip into on a summer day! We started from the trailhead on Rt. 25. The Wachipauka Pond trail is a link in the Appalachian Trail. As we were about to start the hike, we met a couple of cute AT hikers going north.
After a half-mile warm up, the trail climbs fairly steeply for a bit, then moderately through towering hardwoods on the slope of Wyatt Hill. It took about an hour and a half to cover the 2.5 miles to the four-way junction where Webster Slide trail heads right up. As a side trail off the AT, this is blazed in blue.
After an easy stretch the Webster Slide Trail begins a serious climb through an oak-dominated forest. One steep stretch is badly eroded with poor footing. But before long the grade moderates; overall the climb is 550 feet in 0.7 mile. At the summit, there is a clearing where a DOC shelter stood from 1931 to 1978.
About 30 yards to the left is the view for which Webster Slide is noted: looking straight down at shimmering Wachipauka Pond, with Carr Mountain sprawled across the horizon. The slope drops off steeply below to the cliffs. Views from here include Mt. Kineo beyond some beaver ponds and Mt. Mist due south. We had lunch here, enjoying the dazzling down-look at Wachipauka.
According to William Little's colorful 1870 History of Warren NH, Webster Slide received its name from an incident in which a hunter named Webster and his dog tracked a moose to the top of the mountain. In the ensuing excitement, both dog and moose tumbled over the cliff and fell to their deaths. A more cynical version of the tale is that Webster plied someone with rum to have the mountain named after him.
On the return, we accidentally made a wrong turn and followed a trail with surveyor's tape. The side path dropped steeply to a sign: Southwest View. The footway looked very steep and having our fill of views for the day, retraced our steps to find the real trail back down.
At the bottom of the Webster Slide Trail, we continued ahead on an unmarked side path that descends to Wachipauka Pond. The trail ends at this idyllic shoreside spot, well-used as a campsite by thru-hikers. "Wachipauka" is an Abenaki term for "mountain pond." We could see Mt Mist rise beyond the western shore.
This was a wonderful spot to relax under a towering white pine. Andrew and I took a swim in the pond. It was a pleasant walk back to our vehicles where we said our goodbyes to each other with George driving back to the house to join us at the Philip Phillips concert.
Before the concert, we tailgated in the parking lot and got to our seats a few minutes before Philip Phillips came on stage. He was AMAZING and better than the headlining act, O.A.R.
The next morning, George left around 10AM. Jon and I went to the transfer station to get rid of trash and spent the rest of the afternoon soaking/sunbathing along the Mad River. A very pleasant 4th of July weekend at the GO Center!
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