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

Friday, August 19, 2016

My 4th (Camel's Hump) Vermont 4,000 footer!

These are the five 4,000 footers in Vermont. Today's peak (Friday, August 19, 2016) is Camel's Hump:

No more day-trips - I will be spending the night at a friend's house in nearby Warren, and hike Mt. Mansfield tomorrow.

Left home at 8:30, got to the trailhead just before 1, on a beautiful sunny day:

Although you can go straight up-and-down Monroe Trail (3.4 miles each way), I am a bit of a "trail snob": I like going up-and-down different trails. It is not that the "trail experience" is different (It is WAY DIFFERENT going up from going down the same trail) - it just looks cooler on a map! So I will go up Monroe Trail (for 1.3 miles), then take a left up Dean Trail (1.2 miles, listed as "Easy-Moderate"), then take a right on The Long Trail (for 1.7 miles) up to the summit of Camel's Hump (4,083 feet). After the summit, continue down the north side (0.3 miles) to Monroe Trail, which I will take all the way back down to the parking lot (3.2 miles):

On the Dean Trail (almost all in the woods), I crossed over a beautiful brook, over a bridge constructed in 1991 by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps:

and then went through a lovely meadow:

with a view of Camel's Hump in the far right.

When you hit The Long Trail, you turn right (north), and the trail becomes DIFFICULT:

but the view back behind me is wonderful - looking south at Mt. Ethan Allen (3,688 feet):

That's why they are called The Green Mountains of Vermont!

Continuing up The Long Trail:

You eventually get to the summit:

A nice view looking southwest:

Looking northwest:

and looking north:

It took me about an hour-and-a-half to get back down to the parking lot via Monroe Trail. It was very nice to make such good time, and see some cute streams on this "Moderately Difficult" trail:

At the bottom of the trail is a memorial to the Men (8 dead, 1 survivor) in the B-24J Liberator Bomber who crashed into Camel's Hump on October 16, 1944:

About a half-mile down the road from the trailhead, a side road (Vilcins Road) goes over Ridley Brook:

which is a BEAUTIFUL spot for a refreshing afternoon swim!!!

An hour to get down to Peter in Warren, and blackened tuna for dinner!! Thank you God for an Excellent Day - 7.89 miles in 3 hours 49 minutes (= 29 minutes-per-mile!)

Friday, August 19, 2016 (left home at 8:40 AM, got to Warren VT at 6 PM)
210 miles -- up 93 into New Hampshire, then west on 89 (1 PM at the trailhead)
7.89 miles -- hiking (3 hours 49 minutes)
28 miles - 1 hour to get to Warren, VT

Music today: LIVE MUSIC

Traffic - The Last Great Traffic Jam, 1994 tour, released 2005

Big Head Todd and The Monsters - live monsters, 1998
This is a WONDERFUL live album by the band, and I especially love their live version of "Boom Boom" (which is now the theme song for NCIS: New Orleans). [sidenote: it is played at Carolina Panthers home games when a touchdown is scored]

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood - Live From Madison Square Garden (2 cds), February 2008 performances, released 2009
An excellent collection of 21 songs ranging from Winwood's Traffic days ("Glad", "Pearly Queen", "Dear Mr. Fantasy"), Windwood/Clapton's Blind Faith days ("Had to Cry Today", "Can't Find My Way Home", "Well All Right", "Presence of the Lord"), some from solo Clapton ("Forever Man", "After Midnight"), plus KILLER Versions of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Chile".

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

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Crossover Blog in Maine - Day 2

Thursday, August 4, 2016
This is a crossover blog, harkening back to the time-tested comic book tradition of having comic hero B appear in comic hero A's issue, then A appears in B. One of the best examples is Spiderman/X-Force from 1990:

(Yes, the issues were printed sideways/landscape-orientation, and meant to be read sideways [don't be stupid and turn your head sideways]). The plots might be silly, but the art was EXCELLENT: Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man and Rob Liefeld’s X-Force!!

What makes this a crossover is dixonheadingwest concerns itself with Art Museums and National Parks, while dixonheadingnorth documents my hiking endeavors - 4000-footers in New Hampshire/Vermont/Maine. So yesterday was the Colby College Museum of Art (Waterville, Maine), and a Counting Crows concert in Bangor, while today covers hiking the Knife Edge Trail and Baxter Peak up on Mount Katahdin in Maine.

10.12 miles in 7 hours 12 minutes = 43 minutes per mile. That is the slowest rate ever, which means this was the hardest, most difficult climb!

Because I wanted to start the day with something "sticking to my ribs", I had googled "Best Breakfast in Millinocket" - up came The Appalachian Trail Café:

I had called them yesterday, and they open at 5 AM! So I got there at 7, had a western omelette (which they call a "Katahdin") with toast & home fries & water & coffee - I was ready to hit the trail at 7:30!!

My first view of Katahdin (Baxter Peak), with Knife Edge trailing down to the right:

Unfortunately it took and hour-and-20-minutes on dirt roads to get to the Roaring Brook Trailhead/Parking Lot. Another nice view on the way:

Roaring Brook, at the beginning of the hike:

This (first 0.1 mile of the hike) is the only up-close-and-personal water on the whole hike.

After the first 0.1 miles, you take a left onto Helon Taylor Trail (3.6 miles), which is boulder-strewn, with a lot of roots:

It is slow going; my splits for the first 3 miles were 28 minutes/35 minutes/53 minutes:

By 10:40 I had broken above the tree-line:

but it was raining and pretty windy, and if those conditions persisted on the top of the first peak (Pamola Peak), I would turn back:

Blessedly, when I got to Pamola Peak (11:33), the sun had come out and the wind had calmed down:

and the view was GREAT!!!
looking forward (south/southwest):

looking backward (east - Katahdin Lake in the distance):

looking down into the Great Basin from the beginning of Knife Edge Trail:

Up on Knife Edge Trail, with Baxter Peak in the far-background:

Looking forward/west on Knife Edge, with people coming toward me:

Looking backward/east on Knife Edge, with people going away from me:

The view down into the Great Basin, with Chimney Pond

12:48 at Baxter Peak!!

Looking west/southwest at the Appalachian Trail, as it comes up along the ridgeline and ends at Baxter Peak:

A cool rock formation on the trail back down:

Pretty cool LOOKING DOWN on a rainbow:

And one last GREAT VIEW before heading back below the tree-line:

Um, the hazards of driving on dirt roads include getting a muddy car:

5-and-1/2-hours home (um, plus I took a little nap in a parking lot in Millinocket):

WOW - What an ADVENTURE! Thank you God for a GREAT DAY!

Temperatures today:
64º when I left the Day's Inn in Bangor
59º 20 miles up the road on 95 North
71º after breakfast
69º at 8:50 at the trailhead/parking lot - then very nice "t-shirt" climbing temps up on the mountain.

Music today - early morning,windows rolled up:
Bill Evans - Alone, 1968
jazz piano, solo music - Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Bob Dylan & The Band - Planet Waves, 1974
great lyric from "Dirge":
I've paid the price of solitude but at least I'm out of debt.

Afternoon Music:
Sting - Brand New Day, 1999
The Lumineers - Cleopatra, 2016
Canned Heat - 4 songs: "Rollin' and Tumblin'", "Going Up The Country", "On The Road Again", and "Fired Hockey Boogie"
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes - I Don't Want to Go Home, 1976
Stephen Stills - Just Roll Tape, 1968 (album released 2007)
I ended the drive listening to Bruce Springsteen - "The Rising":

Can't see nothin' in front of me
Can't see nothin' coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Lost track of how far I've gone
How far I've gone, how high I've climbed

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 Colby College Museum of Art, and saw a Counting Crows concert in Bangor)
hyperlink: dixonheadingwest