Thursday, July 31, 2014

My 5th (Mount Willey), 6th (Mount Field) and 7th (Mount Tom) 4,000 footers!!

Today's hike (Mount Willey, Mount Field, and Mount Tom) are grouped together in Crawford Notch State Park in the "middle group" (in the red circle):


Mounts Willey, Field, and Tom are on 302 in Crawford Notch State Park. east of Cannon Mountain, and just south of Bretton Woods Ski Resort and the Mount Washington Hotel


Since I wanted to start at the southern entrance (trailhead for the Willey Range Trail), go hit the three peaks, and return down the Avalon Trail, I parked near the AMC's Highland Center and rollerbladed down 302. Parked, with Mount Tom in the background:


and heading down 302:



WARNING - it is VERY STEEP, and I quickly had to bail out and put on my hiking boots to walk down about a mile. At that point, it leveled out, and I put the blades back on for the next 3 miles. The 4 miles took 40 minutes, and I put the blades and helmet behind a tree.

I used Map My Walk - the whole trip took 4 and 1/2 hours (9.15 miles hiked) and covered about 5,980 feet in climbing elevation (2960 up, 570 down along the ridge, 330 up, then 2120 down to the car):


Going up 93 to 495, I filled up at the AVSG station in Tewksbury, then headed north back on 93 at 62 mph; took Route 3 east at Cannon Mountain, then south on 302 past Bretton Woods & the Mount Washington Hotel (144 miles from Tewksbury). Hiking up the Willey Range Trail seemed pretty easy


until it wasn't:


The rocks and trees with moss reminded me of Asher Durand paintings:



"Study of a Wood Interior", c. 1855, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA

The view of rain clouds coming through Mount Washington Valley is pretty impressive (I never saw lightening!)


and I got to the top of Mount Willey in a light rain:


and a short time later over to the top of Mount Field:


Going through the forest as the fog/steam/rain burns off


The view from the top of Mount Tom




some nice streams coming back down:


and some cascades that Wendy and I can visit next June:


and a final selfie at the end of a great day!


Thursday, July 24, 2014
Boston, MA
30 miles -- up 93, south on 495 to Tewksbury (1/2 hour)
144 miles -- up 93 North to Exit 35 onto Route 3, then Route 302 to AMC Highland Center (2 1/2 hours)
4 miles rollerbladings on 302 -- to Mount Willey trailhead (40 minutes)
9 miles -- hiking (4 1/2 hours)
4 miles/10 minutes -- back to pick up rollerblades and helmet
3 1/2 hours -- to get home

here is today's playlist:

Actually, I am currently listening to all my songs, in alphabetical order. I continue in the C's today: from "Cookie Jar" by Jack Johnson (On & On album) through some Aaron Copland (Appalachian Spring Suite; Fanfae for the Common Man; Rodeo) through 4 versions of "Cowgirl in the Sand" (including a killer version by Neil Young & Crazy Horse at the Fillmore East in 1970) to "The Crane Wife 1, 2, and 3" by The Decemberists (we All Raise Our Voices To The Air: Live Songs 04.11-08.11).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My 4th (Mount Whiteface) 4,000 footer!!

I think that I like my Thursday schedule:
Leave at 6 AM for Breakfast in Boston
fill up at either Everett or Tewksbury
drive north to the mountain(s)
hike!!
drive back to Tewksbury for fill-up
drive to Manchester-by-the-Sea (in time for dinner?)

A Quick Note: I wanted to do the Tripyramids (North, Middle, and South) today, but THE LIVERMORE TRAIL WAS CLOSED FOR REPAIRS!!

Since the fine is $5,000, I went back into Waterville Valley and hit the web to look for a fallback - I found Mount Whiteface. Like my "museum visits", I recommend going on-line to see if you can even get to the Mountain you want to hike (www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain).

Keeping in the "Southern Group", June's Mount Tecumseh and July's Mount Osceola and East Osceola are in green, while today's hike (Mount Whiteface) is in the red circle:


Mount Whiteface is the southernmost 4000 footer. From my Thursday Morning Men's Breakfast in Boston, go 103 miles up 93 to exit 24, then northeast for 27 miles to get to the Ferncroft Road parking lot (beautiful drive on 113 around the north side of Squam Lake)


I used Map My Walk - the whole trip took 4 and 1/2 hours (9.3 miles hiked) and covered about 5,700 feet in climbing elevation (2,850 up, then return):


It should be a nice hike up Blueberry Ridge Trail:


I think that is Mount Whiteface in the distance:


The trail starts off easy - maybe this is a good sign.


Steps aren't so bad:


but maybe steeper steps aren't such a good sign:


Stunning views on the way up:


and yes, this is still part of "the trail":


this is Whiteface Ledge, where I took my 1st selfie and some great pictures.








I had to go a little further north on the trail/ridge to get to the cairn that marks the actual summit:


Because this was a "fall-back" mountain, I had not done my homework - I could have fit in Mount Passaconaway! Too bad, but there's always another day/another hike. Views to the north and northeast:




And now heading back down the "trail":




back down past a nice stream:


and finish the climb back in the field, looking at Mount Whiteface straight ahead, with Passaconaway off to the right:


Thank you God for a GREAT DAY!

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Boston, MA
103 miles -- up to Exit 24, 93 North (2 hours)
27 miles onto 25, then 113 -- to Mount Whiteface trailhead (1 hour)
9.3 miles -- hiking (4 1/2 hours)
27 miles/1 hour -- back to 93 South
2 1/2 hours -- to get home

here is today's playlist:

started the day with Pat Metheny's latest: Kin by the Pat Metheny Unity Group. Sounds a lot like 80/81, with Chris Potter taking the place of Joshua Redman's horns, and Giulio Carmassi taking the place of Lyle Mays' keyboards Very nice. And then continuing to listen to all my songs, in alphabetical order. I was in the C's today: I started with "Cheree" from the band Suicide, which sounds a lot like "Dream Baby Dream" (it should! both were written by Alan Vega and Martin Rev in Suicide), and ended the day with "China Girl" by David Bowie from the Club Bowie cd mixes.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My 2nd (Mount Osceola) and 3rd (East Osceola) 4,000 footers!!

Last week was pouring rain all Wednesday, so no hiking Thursday. Yesterday, however, it was a relatively light rain, so I took a chance on my next 4,000-footer hike today. SUCCESS!!

Keeping in the "Southern Group", June's Mount Tecumseh is in green, while today's hike (Mount Osceola and East Osceola) are in the red circle:


Mount Osceola and East Osceola are north of Mount Tecumseh, but off the same Tripoli Road. From my Thursday Morning Men's Breakfast in Boston, go 125 miles up 93 to exit 31, then east on Tripoli Road (starts out paved, but quickly reverts to dirt)


I used Map My Walk - the whole trip took 4 and 1/2 hours (9 miles hiked) and covered about 5,200 feet in climbing elevation (1,900 up, 450 down, 250 up, then return):


Going up 93, I stopped at the White Mountain National Forest Headquarters off exit 27. I needed some clarification about "parking policies" ($3 per day/ one-year pass 1 vehicle $20/ one-year pass 2 vehicles $25). But I showed them my National Parks card/pass, and they said "Oh, that's fine. Just put it on your dashboard." Hooray!


The information booth:


The trail sign (only 4.2 miles to go!):


The best method (for me) is "boulder-hopping, and keep leaning forward". It is trickier going downhill, leaning a little backwards.


I passed several groups of campers:


A beautiful view at the top of Mount Osceola:


and my "offical" photo - pretty stunning day!


those kids are at the edge of a cliff - no thanks for me!!


down the trail to the east, then up to the East Osceola summit (wooded on top):


looking north returning from East Osceola:


This hand-over-hand climb is known as "The Chimney" - yes, it goes just about straight up!!:


East Osceola from Mount Osceola summit:


some of the kids I passed on the way up, now at the summit - pretty good for campers!!:


near the summit I found some junk metal, which I was able to carry 3 miles back down to my car. I love cleaning up the world!


and the end of a GREAT DAY!


Thursday, July 17, 2014
Boston, MA
125 miles -- up to Exit 31, 93 North (2 hours)
6.7 miles on Tripoli Road -- to Mount Osceola trailhead (20 minutes)
9 miles -- hiking (4 1/2 hours)
6.7 miles/20 minutes -- back to 93 South
2 1/2 hours -- to get home

here is today's playlist:

Actually, I am currently listening to all my songs, in alphabetical order. I was in the C's today: from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John to Cassidy (live) by the Grateful Dead (Reckoning acoustic album).