By Louise Jensen
Saturday’s weather forecast was an iffy one at best, but 5 hikers and one excited dog decided to toss caution to the wind and meet at the trailhead for Puzzle Mountain in Grafton Notch. To reach the summit of Puzzle, you climb up the eastern section of the Grafton Loop trail. There are several ledges along the way that ordinarily have very fine views of the Sunday River ski resort, Old Speck and the Baldpates, but on this day they were far and few between. No matter, the trail was lush and green, it never rained and everyone was happy to be out. Along the way there were still plenty of wild blueberries that did not escape notice and our taste buds.
The summit was in the clouds when we arrived, so there were no panoramic views where you may see Mount Washington and Sugarloaf Mountain on a clear day. Layering up a bit as it was cool and damp, we chatted and ate lunch, took the obligatory summit photos, including shots of other hikers also not deterred by the weather, and soon headed down. Normally, on a clear warm day we would hang out on top for a while enjoying the views, but not today. Upon our descent, the clouds did open up a bit for a decent view of Grafton Notch where we had a few more photo opts. As there was very little lingering, we were back down in the parking lot before 3 pm. Everyone agreed, despite the less than ideal weather conditions, that this was a thoroughly enjoyable hike!