Monday, September 26, 2016

Trailwork on the Alpine Garden Trail--on the Beautiful Day of 9/20/2016


We did trailwork on the Alpine Garden Trail today!  There were beautiful views and clear skies.

Mom had to drive up the Auto Road.  She was nervous, because she is afraid of driving on roads with drop-offs, but she faced her fear and did well.  An extremely kind hiker, Arlette, offered to help out with trailwork, so we drove her up Mt. Washington to work with us.  It was lovely to see her again!  We had meet briefly on the JMT, but I was able to spend more time with her today.

We brought Max along so he could get a little exercise and fresh air up top.  I took some pictures of him in the car, because sunlight was bouncing off his fur in such a way as it provided me an opportunity to be photogenic.

I brought my hiking buddy, Harley, along for the ride!  Arlette makes these sock hiking partner dolls for a living--they are adorable.

Beginning up the Auto Road...

My sister and me:

It was interesting seeing what tourists do to experience Mt. Washington.  Our drive up the Auto Road came with a CD explaining exciting things about Mt. Washington and the area, as well as other enjoyable tidbits.

We were all a bit amused by our touristy feeling.

Once we got on the Alpine Garden Trail, we started near the intersection with Tuckerman Ravine Trail and worked our way backwards.  We kept an eye out for sloppily-put-together cairns, faulty scree wall, and branches sticking out into the path.  This trail is at least a year-long project.  Our main focus today was clipping branches that came into the walkway, and building/reinforcing scree walls to make the trail clearer between the intersection with Tuckerman Ravine Trail and the intersection with Lion's Head Trail.

We were so grateful to be working in such a gorgeous area with crystal clear skies and only a slight breeze.

Sage and I tried to give Max as much shade as possible so he was cool enough.

Sage and I worked on this scree wall for a while so the path would look more obvious.  Before it was just a jumble of rocks, and now there is a cut out path with a border.  It was fun!

We decided to each take a picture of the other working.  Here is Sage doing some heavy lifting.

Here is the picture Sage got of me--I am lifting and carrying a large rock.

It was noon, so we all ate our lunch and looked at the lovely view before our eyes.

All of us decided to pose our hiking buddies for the camera.  It took effort to not have them fall over.

Some pine cones!

The ray of light coming across this picture is pretty cool!  This is Sage walking towards me.

After trailwork, we had a quite tasty and refreshing strawberry ice cream treat.  We got a fair amount of work done; it was a successful day!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Osceolas. September 18, 2016

Mt. Osceola Trail
8.4 miles round-trip
2,950 feet of elevation gain

There was an event going on during our usual Sunday hiking day, and we were going to do trail work on Tuesday and were extremely busy all week, so we decided to wake up early on Sunday and do a couple of peaks that shouldn't take too long: the Osceolas.  We made sure we got back in time for the important occasion.

The weather forecast was not great, with predicted rain and possible storms.  Keeping this in mind, we started hiking Mt. Osceola Trail wearing our raingear.  Also, I didn't solo hike the ascent of the mountains because we didn't want to be separated if a storm occurred.

 Sure enough, it sprinkled a little bit off and on--it wasn't bad. 

Sage cruising with her orange vest.  I was wearing mine as well just to be safe; it's hunting season.

 Sage pierced her ears this summer, and I am still getting used to it!  She had some nice translucent cream-colored earrings in for this hike.

We felt hot, and since it wasn't raining, I thought it would be a good idea to take off my raincoat.  I tied it around my waist and kept going up.

After many switchbacks and passing the entrance to the bushwhack to West Osceola and Middle Osceola, we arrived at the summit of Mt. Osceola.

We stopped by the actual official summit (a rock in the trees) and took a look at our surroundings: fog, mist, trees, and rocks.

The air I inhaled into my lungs was fresh and moist as fog and mist danced through the evergreen trees.

We walked over to the open place which normally has magnificent views--under these circumstances, though, all I could see when looking out beyond the ledge was the color white.

Here we were!

 A bright orange mountain creature?  Nope, my sister.  She strongly stood out against the fog.

My usual summit selfie.  There wasn't much of a background, unfortunately!

Not much to see out there.

In this one, I have dark to light going on from the bottom to the top of the picture.

One more peak left (not including coming back over to tag this one again): East Osceola.

The rocks were a little slippery, so we went down the bypass instead of the chimney.

There is the chimney--the way we did not go down.

Coming down...

I love how there is one small patch of flat after you descend, and then you start heading up steeply to Mt. East Osceola.  The flat part is literally a small circle of dirt in the middle of the trail.

We got to East Osceola with its small cairn and circle of trees.  Even though it does not provide views on a clear day, it is still nice, at least for me, to sit at the summit.  It feels peaceful and protected.

We headed back over to lovely Mt. Osceola again for some more clouds (blue tinted this time), grabbed some water, and started back down the way we had come.

 I was permitted to hike by myself on the way down, because the weather had mostly cleared up (except for the clouds) and it wasn't raining or even sprinkling.  Being alone was nice.


I could tell I was getting there when the trail became wider and was covered with autumn leaves of brown, red, yellow, and orange.  Fall was so close I could almost taste it.

I noticed a large puddle at the end of a stream.  It was dainty and simple, with a perfect reflection that, if looked at a certain way, could be observed as a hole in the ground.

 The trees are very green and luscious, still.

 If you look carefully, you hopefully will be able to spot the tiny silkworm hanging from above.  It was difficult to get a decent picture of it, so the creature itself may appear a little blurry.

 Some beautiful red, orange, and green leaves on a charming plant.

When I laid my eyes on this fancy log gravel path, I knew I was almost there. 

From a bug's point of view. 

The hike was successful!  Also, we got back to the house with enough time to go to the event.