Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We are experiencing technical difficulties...

Please stay tuned. 

A few weeks ago I took a road trip over to the Presidentials of N.H. to backpack this awesome range.  Awesome trip, loved it, gonna do it annually. Although the weather wasn't the greatest I absolutely loved it. This area is known to have had some the worse weather in America. 

There was at least one death on this particular weekend.  I sadly announce that  after 3 years of use in all sorts of environments, my trusty point & shoot Kodak Easy Share camera died from over exposure ( no pun intended, it got too wet ). It was a slow death and she held on right to the end. I could even view her last shots on the ride home. Once home.... she had passed. *sniffle*. Luckily, the memory card was still good and the photos were retrieved. We (my wife and I) are in the market for a new, more shock & weather resistant lightweight point & shoot or possibly an SLR that can withstand my abuse.

After a short mourning and frustration of being camera-less, my mother-in-law kindly let us borrow her older camera. Here's the kicker... This camera take a memory stick (MS) card instead of the more interchangeable  secure digital (SD) card. These cards do not slide into a laptop. Since this was her secondary camera, the USB cord had been misplaced.

Since my traverse, I have been out a few times hiking in the verdant hills of Vermont taking photos along the way. I am excited to share my adventures as always but I won't do it without photos. It helps explain my journeys. With that said, I have a few posts in draft waiting patiently to have photos added. I should have a cord by the end of the week.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An Early Morning Day Hike

June 22, 2011

This was a spur of the moment hike planned by my hiking friend Deb.

Joe, Deb and Kathi
4:30am came quickly when my alarm rudely awoke me. Deb had gotten in touch with me and Kathi 12 hours early to see if we would take a short and easy hike first thing. She asked if I may have known of a trail that would be a good workout but short enough to be out of the woods by 10am. The Long Trail has many road crossings and since Kathi and Deb both had never been to Airport Lookout, I thought a quick jaunt to Minerva Hinchey shelter would be a great way to start the day. At 5:20 we were on the road to the Clarendon Gorge trail parking area to start our morning. By the time we resolved water bladder leakage problems, discussed Deb new shoes and checked out Kathi's Kelty day pack that she didn't care for (nor used) it was 6:10. The temps were nice and cool in the mid 60's with partly sunny skies. Beneath the bulletin board at the trailhead were bags of garbage less than 30 inches away from a "No Garbage Service" sign. I tend to obsess over breaking rules like this. It really irks me to see such a blatant disregard for this wonderful trail. As soon as we crossed the suspension bridge we noticed that, although illegal, people still insist on camping in this area. The garbage, broken glass, the impact on the area and the cutting and stripping of wood for fires is the reason why. Okay, enough complaints. We headed up the hill some and after crossing a wood road we noticed a tree down...then another...then another all in this 100 yard cleared area.

The previous Saturday there were a few storms in the area. We believe a small tornado may have touched down. I took note of the area and what needed to be done so the GMC can coordinate a work party to clean up the trail. Soon after we were at Airport Lookout and we took a short much needed break when we were visited by a beautiful scarlet tanager that unfortunately wouldn't let us take his picture. We also looked around for this red, ruby-like vein that is rumored to be embedded in the exposed quartz. When the light hits it at the right moment it glows deep hues of red. After a year of looking for it, it still hasn't been seen by my eyes ... maybe next time?

Treebeard and Stormsong
Onward we trekked on top of this pleasant ridge towards the shelter. Surprisingly, the bugs were not bad at all despite the numerous vernal pools. We passed one northbound backpacker along the way. Before too long, we noticed the shelter through the dense vegetation. It was around 8:00am and the place was waking up. Appalachian Trail thru-hikers were breaking camp to start today's 16 mile journey. Most of what be through the rain. Two of them, Stormsong and Treebeard seemed glad to spare a minute of time to tell us of their so far four month adventure. There were 6 of them in separate groups that started at Springer Mountain in Georgia about the same time and have been with each other since. I gladly took any garbage they needed to get rid of and offered them what power bars I had with me. "We've learned to never refuse food" Stormsong stated as he gratefully accepted.

We headed back towards Rt 103 enjoying our morning along the way stopping once again at Airport Lookout when 3 more of the 6 thru-hikers passed by. I once again offered to take any trash that they had with them. We talked with them for a few minutes learning of their trip. The older gentleman of the group had gladly lost 50 pounds so far during his travels. Great way to loose weight. We parted ways as they quickly scurried down the trail. We followed behind them at a slower pace back to the trailhead.

From Airport Lookout


Another great day in Vermont. We hiked 5.4 miles and gained 900 feet of elevation. We intend on doing more early morning hikes like this in the future.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Life Outdoors: A guest blog from a Vermonter

In a recent post by Steven, he had asked if anyone would be interested in writing a guest post. I thought that I would give it a shot. This is my first ever guest post so I hope I don't scare Steven's followers away with it. This also gives me the opportunity to promote my beautiful homeland of Vermont.

My name is Joe and I write the blog The Adventures of Jobiwan.  I usually write stories of my adventures in Vermont but since Steven's blog is titled My Life Outdoors I thought I would stick to that theme. This is my life outdoors.

My life revolves around being outdoors. It completely consumes me. Not one day passes that I don't use the words hike, backpack, woods et cetera in everyday conversation.. I am in the woods of Vermont quite a bit of the time.  It started at a very young age...before I can even remember when I tent camped with my parents. I fished and hunted while a pre-teen and teen with my father and grandfather and went through the boy scouts in which we did a lot of hiking and camping. I do recall the time where I would like to think that it changed my life forever. I was 14 when my scout troop went primitive camping in the winter. We built our own pine bough shelters and stayed in them. I immediately knew that the outdoors, in all her glory, was the route in life that I wanted to follow. And I have for the most part. I will not hunt any longer.

I am blessed to live where I live. Vermont is home to the Long Trail and she and her side trails are the trails that takes up a lot of my time. They are my church, my psych ward, my school, my playground and my workplace. Although I have never completed this beautiful footpath in the wilderness in it's entirety, I have hiked and backpacked quite a bit of the sections that surround my home. My first thru-hike of this historic trail is scheduled for September of this year. Although the Long Trail is not the longest trail or even the most extreme it does have some of the roughest terrain. It is the U.S.'s oldest long distance trail at 101 years of age and was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail. It is stewarded by the Green Mountain Club and most of the work on these trails, like many around the world, is done by volunteers.
I am an active member in the Green Mountain Club and volunteer a lot of trail work so others can enjoy my beautiful state in it's natural form. I also sector check a short but aggressive trail called the Canty Trail which to me is my baby. I simply love this trail. It's a side trail of the LT system  and offers an array of Vermont terrain...lower wetlands to steep rocky terrain to roots & rocks with waterfalls and impressive views at the 3278 foot summit of Blue Ridge Mountain. It's a 2.4 mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 1600 feet. This is a great four season day hiking trail.  

I enjoy all the seasons of outdoors Vermont. Winter is one of my favorites. Ironically I live 20 minutes away from some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the East but I refuse to go down a hill with sticks strapped to my feet. I've been skiing a few times in my life but never got into it. Snowshoeing is my thing to do in the winter. It gives me great opportunity to wander off the beaten path aimlessly without too much concern. Backtracking makes this possible. I love winter camping as well...primitive winter camping. Backpack, snowshoes, food, decent warm clothing, snow and I'm good to go.

Spring gives me some down time. The trails are too muddy and as a trail steward I heed Vermont's mud season ordinances. State lands close from mid April to Memorial Day weekend. I do however help do trail maintenance with the GMC before the summer hiking season opens by cutting away blown down trees, repairing puncheons, painting blazes, clearing out waterbars and pruning any overgrown vegetation. It's my time to give back to the trail.

Summer puts on the mileage on my Merrells. I started a hiking group on Facebook last August and have accrued 120 members so far and I have the feeling that this year my summer will be busy. Summer is great in Vermont...not too hot and not too cold. The green of the mountains really pops out. It truly is a great place to hike. Swimming is another favorite activity that I enjoy. Vermont offers many uncharted swimming holes that are just amazing albeit some are quite chilly. Clarendon Gorge is a favorite spot for me to cool down.

Autumn mountains in Vermont are so amazingly beautiful. The foliage is renowned and attracts visitors from around the world. The reds, oranges and yellows dominate the rolling land. This, to me, is the best time to hike and backpack. It's cooler, there are no bugs and the trails and shelters are no longer filled with adventurous college students who spent their summer backpacking.

So there ya have it. My life outdoors in the great state of Vermont. It's a great place to live let alone hike and backpack. The folks here are friendly and the air is clean. 

Happy trails!

A Birthday Wish

Zane Michael a few hours old
June 16, 2011

Grandpa Joe and Zane
One year ago today at 4:40am my first born child... my lovely daughter gave birth to her first child, Zane Michael. He is a great addition to our family. The joy he brings is amazing. This little guy can put a smile on your face even when times are not so happy.

Zane is already being introduced to the outdoors and has been on a few hike with me amongst others. His parents, Luciy, my daughter and Greg both love the outdoors and have been on many hikes with me as well as enjoying their own journeys. Greg's parents have taken Zane camping too. It surrounds the lad. I am almost positive that he will grow to enjoy the Green Mountains and to respect them.

Zane's first hike
Today, on his birthday Grandpa Joe is going on a hike with Zane. The weather is great, the black flies are down some and it gives us some personal grandfather / grandson time together. Last year on my birthday, I had the opportunity to take Zane on his first hike. It was a great gift that I thought I would return to him. Another gift that I got him and will continue to get him every year for his birthday is a new pair Merrells.

Happy birthday, little Padiwan, Love Grandpa

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Attempt at a Presidential Traverse: Days Two and Three; The Perch to Pinkham Notch

June 10-12, 2011

This is a continuation post from my first attempt at a Presidential mountain range traverse. Day one posted here.

Day Two:

Leaving The Perch
This was a long, tiring, sore, wet, cold, windy day. I had slept fairly well at The Perch but was occasionally wakened by some rain and strong winds. I woke up for the day at 5:00am and the winds were whipping at nice steady breeze of 40 mph or so. I rustled out of my tent and immediately put on a wind shell. A few drops of fast moving horizontal rain stung my face as we broke camp had breakfast and got ready for our early morning cardio workout by trekking back up past the treeline to be even more exposed. We hit the trail at 6:30am. Our itinerary for the day was to bag Mts Jefferson and Washington with the possibility of bagging Mt Clay then descend down into Tuckerman Ravine and spend the night at Hermit Lake shelters. I love ups first thing. It gets me going, warms me up and I am well rested so my energy levels are up. Once we reached the intersection of Randolph Path we were totally exposed. As we passed the bad weather warning sign, we both looked at each other and decided that the weather wasn't quite bad enough for us to wait or turn back. The rain still hadn't fully hit...or we hadn't walked into it yet. The winds were steady at about 35-40 mph with some stronger gusts.

Mt Jefferson in the background
I really liked this trail. It has Castle Ravine on one side to the west then further south Jefferson Ravine drops to the east as it approaches Edmands Col. This is the pass between Mts Sam Adams and Jefferson. The winds here picked up some but still was not a hazard.
Jim crossing the snow
The Loop trail
Before we knew it we were on the Loop Tr that leads to Jefferson's summit. This trail was quite challenging with larger boulders steeply stacked on top of each other. At one point the trail had to cross some remnant snow. Luckily it was rock hard so we never post holed. 
Before we knew it we were at the large cairn on Jefferson. This gave us a good view of the rest of the day. Washington was covered in a blanket of clouds and the rains were already drifting our way. After a short break I trekked up to the peak of Mt Jefferson. On June 11, 2011 at 9:13am I had bagged my second 5000 footer. Mt Jefferson. 5716 feet above seal level. At that moment it was the highest that I had ever backpacked in my life. 
On Mt Jefferson
Jim on Mt Jefferson

After descending Jefferson and crossing the mountain pass at Sphinx Col we walked into the clouds. It was the start of the rest of a wet day. Clouds had covered our already passed trek as we approached the Mt Clay loop. 
Mt Jefferson from Mt Clay

We decided not to bag this peak as well and meandered along the west side Mt Clay staying on Gulfside Trail until Mt Washington. The clouds were still high enough to watch the Cog Railroad ascend and descend this majestic mountain. As we got closer to the summit the trail traffic picked up. More day hikers were present even on such a gloomy day. The visibility was down to 20 yards and the wind and rain were strong. My camera was wet and there was no way of drying the lens. We kept on towards Washington trekking the steep edges of The Great Gulf. The trail continues on until it crosses the Cog Railroad. This is where the end of the trip started even though we didn't know it yet. While crossing the tracks my right foot planted and twisted my knee some. It was a light but sharp pain that I payed no attention to. This was my first mistake. I should have wrapped it but it really didn't hurt. At least not then. A lesson that I learned but ignored: Injuries however slight can and will get worse if not taken care of initially. Before too long I ran into a small group of day hikers who asked me if this would trail would lead them to Jewel Trail. It did and I asked them how much further to the summit. They pointed to the observatory and comms tower which I could have hit with a tossed stone. It was literally 30 feet away but so well hidden in the clouds that I didn't see it until they pointed it out. I have made it to the summit. Now, Mt Washington is a big tourist attraction and the peak where the survey marker is had a small line waiting for photo ops. Jim and I sought out the dry and warm pack room at the visitors center.We stayed at the center for an hour and a half drying off some and warming our cores with hot soup and coffee. I managed to get my camera to work again before we stepped out into the cold again and bag this mountain. It's only 15 or so feet up from the visitor center. On June 11, 2011 at 2:37pm I had bagged my first 6000 footer. At 6288 feet above sea level it was and still is the highest that I have ever trekked in my life.
Next on our agenda was to seek shelter at Hermit Lake which lies 2400 feet below Mt Washington. The first steps down Tuckerman Ravine Trail and I felt my knee letting loose. I kept moving favoring my right leg and really relying on my trekking poles. We came to the junction of Lion Head Trail and noticed that Tuckerman Ravine Tr was closed due to hazardous conditions.
We heeded the sign and took Lion Head trail to the shelter. Although its not long as far as distance goes, this trail is still by far the most difficult trail that I have conquered. Maybe it was the knee that made it seem that way but I highly doubt it. 

Jim coming down Lion Head Tr

Lion Head
Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head
It took us over 3 hours to drop 2400 feet in a 1.8 mile distance. It was raining, our packs, although covered were wet, we were extremely exhausted and cold when we arrived at the shelters. The caregiver was not in due to a rescue in Huntington Ravine. Immediately we got into some drier clothes and sat around in our sleeping bags. My knee was on fire and starting to swell. At 8pm a couple of young skiers had joined us and updated us about the rescue. It seems that the person who was rescued had ventured up Huntington after they were recommended not to go on that trail in this type of weather by the AMC. He was a doctor who happened to break his leg. The rescue took over 15 hours to get him out. It was reported that the man temporarily set his own leg. And I thought my knee hurt. After some dinner and light conversation and relaxation we crashed. It was a little after 9pm.

Day Three:

I slept fairly well waking once to some very strong winds. It was after 5am so I got up for the day. I felt fine, my knee hurt some so I thought if I wrapped it in an Ace bandage it would be fine. I went to go replenish my water when I realized that I had to bail. It hurt too much past the comfort zone but I knew it wasn't completely blown. We broke camp and I hobbled down the lower Tuckerman Ravine trail towards Pinkham Notch. The trip ahead was 1.8 miles of less steep and easier terrain. At a mile and a half down the trail we were fortunate to see some wildlife...a juvenile moose.

He was slowly nibbling away at the vegetation while walking along the trail. Jim and I decided it would be better to divert through the woods and avoid him. Moose have no natural predators and have poor eyesight. Being charged by a 500 pound muscle and hoof mass because we startled him is not how we wanted to end this trip. Once passed we continued down until we reached Crystal Cascade; a beautiful waterfall cut through the dense forest.
Crystal Cascade

After a short break at the cascade we continued on for 0.3 miles to the visitors center at Pinkham Notch. Our journey was over....for the most part. We still had to get to Crawford Notch to get the truck. Luckily a shuttle runs to where we were to meet our ride back home. We still had some time so I relaxed and took off the Ace bandage and my knee started growing. It was filling with fluid but I could tell it wasn't blown. The stressed, pulled and beat up ligaments were sore but I knew I made it down safely without tearing anything. I'm sure that if we continued on to Crawford Notch as initially planned that I really would have damaged my knee permanently. I babied it as we waited but still wandered around so nothing would lock up.The shuttle arrived on time and thankfully there was room for us...they require reservations. It took an hour and fifety minutes to loop around the Whites stopping at the major trailheads. Once we got to the Highland Center we showered, changed into some clean clothes and headed up Rt3 to meet Kathy, her husband Rob and daughter for some post trek beers and dinner. I appreciated the Newcastles but it was unanimously agreed upon that the food and service sucked. Regardless the company was perfect. We caught up on old times and planned a Tuckerman snowshoeing trip for this coming winter. With a 3 hour trip back home ahead of us Jim and I said our goodbyes and thank yous and headed back home to Vermont.

Jim, Kathy, Joe at Kathy's house. Presidentials in background

My Final Thoughts and Future Plans:

Overall I really am in awe still over this trip. It was by far my most extreme adventure. I think I fell in love with the Whites on this weekend. It was very challenging at times but the feeling of being on top of the world made it well worth the brutality it delivered. I have feelings of accomplishment even though I made the decision to bail out. If I never crossed a man made object I probably would have finished this journey. This was my first time hiking in the Whites and I am positive you see me there again in the future. Jim and plan I to finish this out in August by getting dropped off on Mt Washington and day hiking down Crawford Path and bagging Monroe, Eisenhower and Pierce along the way. We also intend on planning a hut to hut Presidential traverse for next July. 

We manged to hike 15.5 miles of the Presidential mountain range and gained over 7000 feet of elevation bagging 3 high peaks over 5000 feet. 

My Attempt at a Presidential Traverse: An Intro and Day One; Appalachia to The Perch

June 10-12, 2011

Yes....the title is written correctly. An attempt which ended with a bail out. This partial traverse was an amazing journey planned to backpack from Appalachia (via Valley Way) to Crawford Notch but got cut short due to an injury. It ended at Pinkham Notch instead. I did this with my  friend and high school classmate, Jim. Jim is an adventurer as well, taking on New Zealand and Peru in the past and is almost done with his second section hike of the Long Trail. He has also bagged Mts Washington and Lafayette numerous times but has never done the northern Whites. Jim and I have hiked quite a bit together this past year and know each others pace. I'm faster on the ascents and Jim is faster on the descents. Our packs weighed about the same at 40 pounds including water.

The Road Trip:
My first views of the Whites

We headed over to New Hampshire the day before our trip taking in the wonderful drive up Rt3. I had never seen the Whites before so once we reached Franconia Notch I was in awe. I immediately got camera crazy almost sustaining injury by rubber necking my surrounds. Simply amazing. The size of these mountains are very impressive. They just seem to go up forever.  Once we got to Rt 302 the clouds started to roll in covering most of our view. We then went to to Highland Center at Crawford Notch for some info, an up to date map, an extra bottle of fuel. I also decided to join the Appalachian Mountain Club. A $50 donation to enjoy a weekend in the Whites is a small price to pay. I even saved $12 for the weekend on my purchases because of my new membership. When we left the Highland Ctr there were thunderstorms in the area. 
At Dolly Copp
We decided on staying at Dolly Copp campground near Gorham. We immediately set up our tents then went into Gorham for dinner. After a good carb load at an Italian restaurant we went back to our site and built a small campfire when the storms decided to bless us. We sat in the truck studying our maps and guidebook. By 9:30pm we crashed. It rained on and off most of the night but most of the thunderstorms had passed.

Day One:
I awoke to silence with an occasional chirp of a Boreal Chickadee. It was 4:45am and the rains had stopped. Although I didn't get too much sleep I sprang out of my sleeping bag all giddy with excitement. The day I had planned for months had arrived. I knew by the afternoon I would be in an Alpine zone. The northeast United States has  a mere but rare 8 square miles of Alpine zone. Most of it lies in the Whites. Vermont has less than  300 acres of Alpine zone and I had only walked on less than 1 of them. I fired up the Pocket Rocket and had some coffee while the day grew brighter. By 6am the sun had peeked through the trees. A beautiful day. We had arranged to meet another classmate, Kathy who lives in the area and had offered to shuttle vehicles which was perfect. We were to meet her at 8:00am at the Appalachia trailhead. At 7am we left the campground and went and got a decent breakfast then hit up the trailhead. We arrived at Appalachia a little early which gave me time to stretch some and drink a liter of water.
Mt Madison on the way
I had seen Mt Madison on the ride from the campground and I knew I would sweat out that liter by noon. Kathi arrived promptly at 8. Now, we haven't seen each other in years....many years. For me it had been close to 5 years since I had last seen her and that was briefly. Before that the last time we saw each other was at our graduation. Jim hadn't seen her since graduation. It was a great reunion although it started to cut into our time. We hit the trail at 8:30am.
The Valley Way trail was our first and the only trail that we took up beyond the tree line. It, at first reminded me of my homeland with roots and rocks in a mixed forest that follows a beautiful brook. After an hour the footing changed to larger rocks with less roots and a much steeper ascent. As we gained elevation the air got cooler, the trees got shorter, the rocks got bigger and the trail got steeper. This was at that moment the toughest  terrain that I had ever been on. And it just kept going up. I knew that it was not going to be the hardest for the weekend. At hour 3 into the trek I got my first view of Mt Madison's enormous rock summit. I was breathless and almost in a trance by it's beauty.

My first glimpse of Mt Madison's summit

The upper part of Valley Way tr.
Although the trail ahead leading to the hut was even more difficult, I practically ran up it with a forty pound pack. It was in my reach and I wanted it then. At hour 3 and a half I was in alpine zone and would be for the rest of the day. At hour 4, we reached Madison Spring Hut. This hut is on the oldest hut site in the United  States and lies in a col between Mounts Madison and John Quincy Adams. It is the second highest in this hut chain sitting at 4800 feet above sea level. This was, at the time, the highest that I have ever trekked in my life. Both Madison and Adams towered over this mountain pass. We stopped at the hut and took a break. The caretaker offered cakes & lemonade and was kind enough to give us suggested routes and more up to date info on our ahead journey. She even watched our packs so we could bag Madison without lugging them up and back. After our break and much needed refuel we started our ascent to the peak of Madison.

On Mt Madison
I was now on completely different terrain; summit boulders. The trail was now boulder to boulder that leave no footprints. Cairn navigation is the only was to tell which way the trail goes...with the aide of trekking pole scratches. At 1:37pm on June 10, 2011 after 0.4 miles and another 566 feet in elevation, I bagged my first 5000 footer standing on top of 5366 foot Mount Madison. Jim shortly joined me. We didn't say much at first taking it all in. I was at the top of the world it seemed...I stood on the peak and did a slow 360 degree spin as a tear rolled down my wind burned cheek. A true wow moment.

On top of Mt Madison, 5366 feet above sea level

On Gulfside tr.
We stayed on the summit for about 20 minutes before trekking down. It didn't take us long but for me the downs are harder. We stopped at the hut to pick up our packs. Mine was leaking. It seems that pressure builds inside a water bottle when ya fill it at the bottom and carry it up 4800 feet. It was squirting out of the vent until I released the pressure. Soon we were off to start our ridgeline journey along Gulfside Trail towards the 4 Adams prominences.

Alongside J Q Adams and Adams the trail is well maintained with flat rocks for quite some distance. I picked up my pace some stopping every few hundred yards to take in the awesome views of my previous bag and King Ravine below. At  one point I noticed someone standing on top of Madison. Phil from Section Hiker was on that mountain the same day... maybe it was him.
Phil on Madison??

King Ravine
These valleys are deep and steep but so gorgeous. Steadily trudging along we soon arrived at Thunderstorm Junction...a windy col that sits between the Adams. Mts J Q Adams and Adams to the east and Sam Adams and Adams 4 to the west. Because of time and exhaustion we decided to skip bagging Mt Adams. Once southwest of TS Jct and approaching the south side of Sam Adams the views of Washington, Clay and Jefferson was our main view. 

Washington, Clay and Jefferson

Soon we were at the junction of Israel Ridge Path, our days journey was almost over and we had to descend to The Perch for the night. The I R Path winds around to expose the north side of Mt Jefferson. Wow is all I could say. The ridge that leads to Mt Jefferson is aptly named The Castle Ridge with Castle Ravine and Emerald Bluff below. The late afternoon sun lit up the greens and grays. We took a break before we went below the treeline for the night.
Jim overlooking The Castles and Castle Ravine

We continued down 1000 feet until we hit the spur that leads to The Perch; a Randolf Mountain Club shelter that nestles 1400 feet below the peak of Mt Adams 4 directly due west. It was 5:30. Our days journey was at an end. An older lady was cooking her meal when we arrived. Jim and I rested for a moment taking in the early evening sun.
Jim on his post hike rest
Thank you for getting me here.

After setting up camp on the tent platforms 2 more sets of two backpackers came down the spur. They too chose to let the lady have the shelter to herself. After a dinner and water refill we soon crashed. Our day was over....