Thursday, September 1, 2016

Baxter Peak - The End of The Appalachian Trail

Deede's boyfriend Tad has been doing the whole Appalachian Trail, starting down in Georgia on April 15. Deede joined him in Monson, Maine for the final 100-Mile-Wilderness in Maine, and they invited ME TO JOIN THEM ON THEIR LAST DAY (5.5 miles up to Baxter Peak on Mount Katahdin)!!! Of course I said YES!!:

We met at Katahdin Stream Campground at 8 AM, and headed up Hunt Trail.

Wendy and I spent the previous night at Katahdin Inn & Suites, and I purchased the (waterproof) Trail Map when I made the parking reservation for Thursday's hike - Baxter State Park likes to have hikers and campers use their reservation system, even though I had no problem entering/parking on my Knife Edge hike Thursday Aug 4:

I had a beautiful view of Mt. Katahdin on my morning drive:

the forecast was 50% chance of showers, but the sun seems to be breaking through.

The morning lakes in Maine are pretty awesome!:

The cute morning hikers ready for their final day!:

About 1.2 miles up the Trail are the Katahdin Stream Falls:

Deede and Tad are Very Good Hikers - splits for the first 2 miles were 25 minutes and 33 minutes. I trailed them and was able to keep up. The first breakout is a beautiful view across Witherle Ravine at The Owl (3736 feet):

Once we got above the treeline, the hike got exciting:

Baxter Peak is off to the right (out of the picture); it is a beautiful day, with the clouds coming and going.

Looking back down from the top of the trail in the above-photo:

4 miles up the trail (1 1/2 miles from the top), the trail levels out, but the clouds come-and-go:

And then they hit Baxter Peak - The End of The Appalachian Trail:

Nice of The Kids to let The Old Guy tag along!

Of course, there are GREAT VIEWS:

(can you see the orange hiker?)

It was Quite A Party Scene up there on the Mountain!

Great Views going back down:
looking down on The Owl:
Scrambling down through The Gateway

Katahdin Stream down at the bottom:

Tad and Deede traded in their Day Packs for their real packs, and that marks the end of this "Great Adventure"

Thank You God for a GREAT DAY! 12.09 miles in 7 hours 47 minutes, with an elevation gain of 3,984 feet!

Thursday, September 1, 2016
8 AM at the trailhead
12.09 miles -- hiking (7 hours 47 minutes)
331 miles - 5 1/2 hours to get home (Wendy driving almost all the way because I was EXHAUSTED)

Shameless Plug: if you enjoy this blog, you may like my other one about Art Museums and National Parks (on July 23, 2016 I finished a 6-day trip to Indiana/Kentucky/DC/Connecticut)
hyperlink: dixonheadingwest

Saturday, August 20, 2016

My 5th (Mt. Mansfield) Vermont 4,000 footer!

These are the five 4,000 footers in Vermont. Today's peak (Saturday, August 20, 2016) is Mount Mansfield:

No more day-trips - I spent last night at a friend's house in nearby Warren after hiking Camel's Hump yesterday.

Left Peter's at 7, up to "the best breakfast in Stowe": McCarthy's:

My first view of Mount Mansfield, going past the Stowe Ski Resort:

The trail today is kind-of-hidden - this is it, south of the parking area (NO SIGNS!!):

Not wanting to buy an "official trail map" for only 5 peaks in Vermont, this is the map I worked off of:

I consulted this image early-and-often. My plan was go up The Long Trail 1.7 miles, left on misc. trail 0.5 miles,up over The Chin and down to Lake of the Clouds, then back down The Long Trail to the parking area.

The trail gets pretty-vertical almost immediately:

if it "looks like steps", don't be shy about treating them like steps!

It turns out that the "0.5 mile trail" is named Profanity Trail - this is the view back down it!!!!

but this is the view from it when you break above the tree-line:

This is the trail up to the summit through the "alpine environment":

And, of course, views from the summit:


maybe I can hire the kid to carry my walker up my next mountain...

I followed a guy north to Adams Apple:

Looking back up at The Chin:

and looking forward to Lake of the Clouds:

Unfortunately, when I got down to Hell Brook Trail, I turned right/downhill, which took me away from Lake of the Clouds!!:

and I was not going to go BACK UP.

Hell Brook is pretty cool:

Hell Brook Trail is REALLY HARD. I saw some people with dogs, which they had to carry/lift in many places - this trail IS NOT PET-FRIENDLY. I kept having to throw my poles down, then scale down rocks and rock faces, either on my butt or backwards. One time I threw my poles down, and they slide off the trail - it turns out that that "off trail scramble" was actually where the trail went, and gave me my best views and pictures of Hell Brook (Thank You God!).

I had decided to go back down via Hell Brook Trail, then walk a half-mile on the road back to my car, because I actually had not done any "walking" today, and was certainly going to need to stretch my legs:

That pace of 38.10 is deceptive - the last 0.87 miles (on the road) took 15 minutes, which means the previous 5.46 miles of trail took 3:46 - a pace of 41 minutes-per-mile. That is just a shade less than the killer 43-minutes-per-mile I did on Knife Edge Trail at Katahdin earlier this month!

Profanity Trail going up, and Hell Brook Trail going down - there is an awful lot of swearing going on up on that mountain!

I was able to wash myself off in this lovely stream under a classic Vermont Covered Bridge:

I then stopped off at two galleries in Stowe (yes, I changed into nice clothes) to see paintings by Craig Mooney:
at the West Branch Gallery, a large canvas "Valley View":

and at the Green Mountain Fine Art Gallery:

a lovely painting hanging outside! ("Blue Sky Beyond")

and a real beauty inside the Gallery ("Cloud Burst"):

Wait - what's all this "art" doing in a dixonheadingnorth blog??

I was able to get home by 5:30 to see Deede Dixon!! who had gotten home this afternoon for a quick 48-hour visit. That's all for the 4,000 footers in Vermont (5-out-of-5) - Thank You God for these wonderful adventures!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016 (left Warren VT at 7 AM, hiking from 9-to-1, home at 5:30 PM)

Music today:

in the 50's in the morning, so quiet jazz on my way up to breakfast and the mountain: Bill Evans - Everybody Digs Bill Evans, 1959

After the hike, because I am in Vermont I should listen to some Phish. But I don't have any on my big iPod, so I listened to some live Grateful Dead - Three From The Vault:

To quote Wikipedia: Three from the Vault is a live album by the Grateful Dead. It contains the complete show recorded on February 19, 1971 at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York. It was released on June 26, 2007

It has a killer version of "I Know You Rider"

Shameless Plug: if you enjoy this blog, you may like my other one about Art Museums and National Parks (on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 I visited the Colby College Museum of Art, and saw Counting Crows in Bangor)
hyperlink: dixonheadingwest