Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My 40th (Mount Pierce) and 41st (Mount Eisenhower) 4,000 footers!

This is what I call "The Northeast Group" (the Presidential Range on the left/center, and the Carter-Moriah Range on the right). Today's peaks (Tuesday, October 20, 2015) - Mount Pierce and Mount Eisenhower - are in the purple circle:

x's through Mounts Willey, Field and Tom means that I did them (July 2014); and I've done Jackson, Webster, Moriah, Adams, Madison, Jefferson, Wildcats A and D, and Mounts Isolation, Davis, Monroe and Washington earlier this summer.

I plan today's hike to go up Crawford Path ("considered the oldest continuously maintained footpath in the United States"), a quick little jag to the Mt Pierce summit, then over to the Mt Eisenhower summit, then back down via Edmands Path. I will stop MayMyWalk, put on my rollerblades, and rollerblade back to the car:

After spending the night at the Church, Wendy and Ellie and I enjoyed a great breakfast at the Agawam Diner (we had 3 orders of Hash-and-eggs and wheat toast!). I then went up 95, and west on NH 101 to get over to 93. I like 101 - it has a 65 speed limit, and looks like a road that was built to encourage towns/settlement in that "rural New Hampshire" area between the Coast and 93. Once on 93 I was able to enjoy the clouds-in-the-valleys:

I went up-and-around past the Mount Washington Hotel:

umm, I don't think I like that Cloud Layer.

I dropped off my rollerblades and helmet about 2 miles up Mt. Clinton Road, then drove back to the Parking Lot for the Crawford Connector (now the encouraged-way to access Crawford Path). I was the only one in the parking lot:

I didn't think much of it, as I enjoy hiking alone.

About 0.4 miles up, I took a 0.4 mile side-trail to Crawford Cliff - not a very well-traveled path, but a nice view at the end:

looking down at the AMC Highland Center area.

Back to the main trail, and over pretty Gibbs Brook:

The leaves on the trail were resplendent!

To quote AMC's "White Mountain Guide" - "at 0.6 miles from Mt. Clinton Road, a side path leads 40 feet left to Gibbs Falls." Pretty subdued writing for such a Beautiful Waterfall!!:

I started seeing snow:

and ice on the trail

It reminded me of an expression I made up this summer:
If it looks like mud on the trail, IT IS MUD.

which now should be modified to:
If it looks like ice on the trail, IT IS ICE.

Approaching the top you get a beautiful view of Crawford Notch and the Mount Washington Hotel:

Aside from being big, and just being there, the summit of Mount Pierce is uneventful (but kind of windy):

The distances up here are hard to get a handle on - this photo from Pierce shows Eisenhower, 1.7 miles away (as the crow flies; but also -230 feet down, then +700 feet up):

If you asked me if I was going to hike down-and-along-the-ridge (over/through those no-tree areas) and up to get to the summit, I would have said "No, it's too far."

but as any hiker will tell you, just put one foot in front of the other, and an hour later you are at the summit:

YOU SHOULD SEE THE VIDEO!! (One of these days I'll hook this up to my YouTube account) The weather for Mount Washington (less than 4 miles northeast up Crawford Path) was listed:

I was at the summit at 2:23 PM = 14:23; let's see - at 14:50, the Wind was 69 miles-per-hour, with Gusts to 77; temp was 32ºF, and the weather was listed as Fog and Windy. It was a bit raw.

Edmands Path down the backside (north slope) of Mount Eisenhower was a bit difficult above the tree-line:

the white stuff is the path.

One thing I always forget is the size of these mountains. Going up is just putting one foot in front of the other, taking sips of water, having some chocolate and an apple, looking at the streams/waterfalls, saying Hi to people as I pass them. I expect it to take time, and I hit 30-minutes-per-mile amazingly consistently.

Going down is another story. I have had paths that I have made 16-minute-miles on (back in my young and carefree days) (no, just at lower altitudes, in summer weather). But I have noticed that going down in my last few hikes, I have felt like I WAS GOING DOWN FOREVER! and you keep going down. I think it is this whole "Presidential Range" thing - BIG Mountains.

Thank You God for letting me get The Presidentials (at least the 4,000 footers) under my belt!

When we asked the people at Captain Dusty's how late into the Fall they remain open, they said "We let the Ice Cream tell us" - meaning that when the ice cream is not selling, it is time to close. Well, I'm going to let "the mountain tell me" when to stop hiking - for me, ICE ON THE PATH means "no more hiking this year"!

Tuesday, August 27, 2015 (left Rowley at 8 AM, home at 7:30 PM)
163 miles -- up 95, 101 west to 93, up 93, around/east on 3, then south on 302 (3 hours)
9.76 miles -- hiking (4 hours 30 minutes)
rollerblade back to the car - on the road at 4:30
3 hours -- gas fill-up, home at 7:30 for a hot bath and Cubs-Mets on the radio

Music today was 45 songs from my iPod, in alphabetical order.

starting off with:
Paranoia Blues 1972 Paul Simon Paul Simon
Patterns 1966 Simon & Garfunkel Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
then Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde (1966) and Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

The list can be accessed here

Tons of great music, including:
2 versions of "Pardon My Heart" by Neil Young (studio - Zuma (1975), live - All Night Long [1992 bootleg of 1982 concert])

The 3 main tracks of the Pat Metheny Group's 2005 album The Way Up - "Part One", "Part Three", and "Part Two". They totaled almost 1 hour 3 minutes, so I had a great time with that!

"The Partisan" by Leonard Cohen - The Best Of Leonard Cohen, 1975, lyrics:

There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
but I must go on;

"Pat's Solo [Live]" is a track on Joni Mitchell's live album Shadows And Light, 1980. This is a double live album, recorded Sept. 1979. Joni's supporting musicians included Pat Metheny (lead guitar), Jaco Pastorius (fretless bass), Lyle Mays (electric piano, synthesizer), and Michael Brecker (saxophones) - pretty cool!

and I finished the day's driving with Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, 1966 and Highway 61 Revisited, 1965 - an album from 50 years ago! (and doesn't it still sound GREAT!!)

Shameless Plug: if you enjoy this blog, you may like my other one about Art Museums and National Parks (I did 12,000 miles this past September & October)
hyperlink: dixonheadingwest