Hodge and Frick Ponds

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, October 16th, I wanted to get in a hike after two days off for a cross country meet and obligations at church. I got up a little late and was in no hurry as the temperature was in the low 40’s and the sky completely overcast. I asked Cindy if she wanted to hike and she said “Yes” and we agreed to go to the Frick Pond area. This is our “go to” spot since it is close to home and there area number of different rails that can be combined into a variety of hikes. I decided against wearing tights underneath my pants but did wear my Mammut hoody since it has several different zippers to vent heat. Cindy and I both took a hat a light gloves since it was only 48 degrees when we left the house at 10:10 AM. Sheila acted as if she had not hiked or a month as she jumped into the back seat. We arrived just before 10:30 AM to find no one else parked in the lots. I checked the temperature and it was 44 degrees at the trailhead! I set my Garmin GPS and we crossed the road to get on the Flynn Trail. There was a slight breeze blowing which made it seem even cooler. We immediately noticed that there were still a few green leaves on some trees but not much color remained. Some of the leaves on the ground had some color but they had turned, stayed on the trees for a day or so and then fallen in the wind and rain. We made the turn up the wide woods road that is the Flynn Trail and started up what was once the Beech Mountain Road. The grass was a little wet and there was some mud in places. It was obvious there had been some wind as we were constantly moving branches off the trail. In a few places I had to drop my poles and take a few minutes to lift larger obstacles off the trail. Sheila was having a great time following animal trails and running up and own the main trail. We set a good pace on the ascent but really did not hurry. By 11:20 AM we had made the 1.7 uphill miles to the junction with the Big Rock Trail. We continued on the Flynn Trail toward Hodge Pond. The skies were still overcast and the breeze was still blowing. I was comfortable while we hiked but cool when we stopped.

At the next trail junction we turned right off the Flynn Trail to take the wood road toward the old Beech Mountain Boy Scout Camp. We then turned left at the next trail junction to descend toward the pond. This trail had been scraped by OSI and had been a muddy mess. It was now covered in leaves and some grass was growing back which made the hiking easier. At the next opportunity, we turned right to head around the back of the pond on the old jeep trail. At one point we headed down to the shore of the pond. I took some pictures of the pond which were a little bleak since the trees didn’t have many leaves and the skies were gray. Sheila waded in the pond and got a drink but did not want to swim in the cold water. We got back on the jeep trail and headed toward the junction with the Flynn Trail. We made a right on the Flynn Trail, walked up to the gate and headed toward Junkyard Junction. The Flynn Trail was pretty wet with several muddy spots and some standing water. At Junkyard Junction, we turned left on the Quick Lake Trail to descend toward Iron Wheel Junction. The trail continued to have wet and muddy spots but we could walk around them without problems. We did continue to pick up branches and clear a few larger blowdowns as we went. This part of the hike went a little more slowly than usual but by At 12:40 PM we had hiked 4.9 miles and had arrived at Iron Wheel Junction. We turned right to stay on the Quick Lake Trail which was also wet and muddy in spots. We crossed the small stream in the woods and then walked under the “spruce tunnel”. We were soon at the bridge over the outlet to Frick Pond. We stopped and I took some pictures of the pond which were about as bleak as the ones at Hodge Pond. The breeze was now a wind and the light mist that had persisted throughout the day seemed to be turning to rain. It seemed that the never dam was partly rebuilt. I am still waiting for a report as to the reasons that someone thought they could destroy the dam.! We continued up the hill on the Quick Lake trail back to the car. We were back in the parking lot at 1:15 PM after hiking 6.3 miles and 1000 vertical feet in 2 hours and 45 minutes. The temperature at the car had risen to 46 degrees but the windchill had to be well into the 30’s!

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