Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Roscoe Braves High Winds on Mt. Cardigan

Roscoe en route to the summit of Mt. Cardigan
This wonderful one year old mixture of Labrador retriever, giant Schnauzer and possibly Scottish deerhound is known formally as Pedro.  His foster family feels that he both resembles and responds better to his nickname Roscoe.  And so for our journey to the summit of Mt. Cardigan (3,155 ft.) on Sunday, April 29th, I chose to address him informally as Roscoe.

Roscoe meets Emma and samples some treats
We had the opportunity to encounter several hikers - both human and canine - on our trip to the summit.    Roscoe was a perfect gentleman when greeting everyone he met.  He also displayed exquisite leash manners throughout our hike along the loop comprising the Manning, Mowglis, Clark, Cathedral Forsest and Holt trails which begins at the AMC Lodge located in Alexandria, New Hampshire.  I was very impressed with how well Roscoe responded to commands and instinctively waited for me to be walking right alongside him before proceeding further up the trail.

Just below the summit of Firescrew Mountain
A few of the hikers we encountered had traveled a reverse loop with an ascent up the Holt Trail, and they strongly cautioned that it was NOT dog friendly.  A partial description of the upper section of the Holt Trail in the AMC Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide reads, "The upper ledges are very steep, and the scramble up these ledges is much more difficult than on any other trail in this section and one of the most difficult in New England...",

Time for only a few windblown photos from the summit
While there are likely a number of canine hikers who have successfully climbed the Holt Trail (in addition to the very agile German shepherd mix we met at the summit on Sunday), Roscoe and I want to pass along this word of caution to others who may be contemplating that route.  There are plenty of other more dog friendly ways to reach the summit of Mt. Cardigan.  Roscoe needed very little assistance on the route we selected which included a stop at the summit of Firescrew Mountain (3,064 ft.).  Our only complaint from the otherwise perfectly gorgeous day was that the high winds at the summit of Mt. Cardigan made it very chilly and difficult to take more than a few photos.  We continued further down the trail for a short break just below the summit before completing the second half of our loop.

Roscoe making it difficult for me to say goodbye
Roscoe was rescued from an overcrowded animal shelter in Arkansas thanks to the all volunteer efforts of Almost Home Rescue of Maine.  He currently shares his foster home with two adults and a 7-month old Labrador retriever mix.  To learn more about Roscoe, share his information with a friend or apply to adopt him, please visit his profile here on  In addition, you can view a full album of photos from his hike.  A short video clip from Roscoe's hike is provided below and can also be viewed online here.

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