It was a lovely holiday weekend and once again I kept very busy. On Friday night I saw the Day After Tomorrow. It was okay for an action/natural disaster movie, of course there were some logic defying scenes, but the special effects made up for the weak plot. I came home from the movies and began planning for a hiking expedition up to Mt. Lafayette.
I woke up on Saturday morning hopped in the car and drove up to the trail head for the Lafayette hike. It was right across the street from the start of last week's hike. I opened the door to the car and realized it was going to be a cold one. The wind was blowing about 25 MPH at the base and I could only imagine what it was going to be like on the summit. I packed as much as I could into my bag and began up the trail at around 9:00. The trail I went up had went back and forth over a stream and passed a series of waterfalls. Of course I took a bunch of waterfall pictures, thanks for getting me hooked on those LAG. The trail was sheltered from the wind and it wasn't long before I was taking off layers. About a mile and a half in the trail leaves the river behind and starts up towards the timber line. The higher I climbed the windier and colder it became. I came to a final trail junction which was a short distance from the openness of the top and put on a couple of extra layers because I could tell the wind was gusting to at least 45 MPH at the summit. The trail made a turn and the trees went from a nice green color to an icy white. The mountain must have been in a cloud and everything above a certain elevation was covered in ice. I looked down at my bare legs and wished I hadn't worn shorts. A few minutes later and I was at the top trying to take cover from the wind behind a giant rock.
I glanced to the North and saw the ridge I was going to have to walk across. It was treeless and looked more like the tundra of Siberia than the top of a mountain in NH on the last week of May. A couple who had spent the night on top of Mt. Liberty started out ahead of me, so I figured I would stick with them in case I accidentally blew off the mountain or my legs became frostbitten. It turns out they were from Amesbury, which I thought was an odd coincidence. We stayed together for most of the ridge, but after we made alternating stops I ended up way ahead of them. My pace quickened and before I knew it I was on top of Mt. Lincoln. I went to take a sip from my camelback, but the tube had frozen and I had to go old school and drink straight from my Nalgene bottle. It had been two and a half hours since I left base camp and I needed to get some sugar into my system, so I took a little break. The cold was starting to get to me so I continued on towards Mt. Lafayette. After about fifteen minutes of really chugging along I made it to the top and took a couple pictures. It was too cold to stop and eat lunch so I found the trail down towards the Greenleaf Hut and covered the descent from the summit to the hut in about fifteen minutes. The hut was great, I took off a couple layers and let them dry while I enjoyed my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Clouds began to roll in and I once I finished eating I quickly packed up my gear and was back on the trail in no time. The Old Bridal Trail was very gradual and provided many great views of the peaks and ridges I had just hiked across. I passed a bunch of people and they all seemed under dressed for the peak, but I kept that little detail to myself and just said hi and told them it wasn't far to the hut. At one point on the way down I saw flurries and tried to get a picture of them, but of course they didn't show up in the picture. The weather was nothing like I had anticipated and felt more like a late October hike. The rest of the descent went by quickly and I didn't see many people once I was within a mile of the car. At around 1:45 I made it back to the car and changed into some warm dry clothes. It only took me four hours and forty four minutes to complete the loop of 7.5 miles. I took a couple more pictures and started down I-93. About a mile south of the base a truck was pulled over on the side of the road which at first seemed odd until I saw a moose standing there. I pulled over and snapped a few pictures before it ran off into the woods.
After hiking I went to Amesbury and we celebrated my Mom's Birthday. Here are a couple of pics from Mom's Birthday Party
Yesterday I made the fun trip down to Plymouth for Sarah's graduation party. The weather was great and there was a ton of food, which always means a good time. After the party I went out in the boat with Rich and Mark for some fishing. I hadn't been fishing since I was a wee lad so it was interesting. Thankfully Rich refreshed my memory on the whole casting thing. I only almost hooked myself once. We were out there for about a half hour and caught one fish, oh well I guess its more about drinking beer on a boat than the actual reward of catching a fish. After fishing we hung out at the boat house drinking and chatting with Ian, James, Bradley, Kate, Sarah and Josh. Good times, although it did get a bit chilly and if you are ever cold and outside don't count on a Citronella candle providing you with much heat. Here are some pics from the Long Pond Graduation Party