Monday, June 23, 2008

#37 Carrigain- June 22, 2008

How about a dose of more extreme weather? The crazy storms on Carrigain were more than I care for, but at least we made it to another peak, number 37 for Ruby. Met up with Nancy and Chuck-thank goodness- who saved my ass from the get-go. Started this hike off reluctantly with threatening storms , but decided to go for it. Could not locate the first brook crossing- and in searching for it found myself head over heels in the brook. So, went back to the car to put on new dry shoes and socks. That's when I hooked up with Nancy and Chuck and hiked with them most of the day. We lucked out for most of this hike- reaching the fire tower after ditching our packs just below the summit. Thunder boomed in the west and lightening flashed. We began to pick up the pace. Then, before I knew it, black clouds hovered above and flashes of lightning lit up the dark sky. I nearly crapped my pants - The rain came down hard. Ruby and I ran full force as fast as we could down the mountain for the last 3 miles. At the very last brook crossing- I once again fell into the brook, but was so soaking wet it didn't matter. After crashing from an adrenaline induced high similar to a crack experience, I drove to the Notch and changed into dry clothes at the Willey House. Get me off this god forsaken mountain, is all I could think. I have never had a pleasant time on Carrigain. I heard the views are nice, but all I've ever seen is a bunch of dangerous thunder clouds. Thanks Nancy and Chuck!

34, 35 and 36 Tom , Willey and Field -June 15th

This day was hotter than hell. No , wait I'm putting you on. It was hotter than the earth's inner core-which taps out at about 7,000 degrees. Good thing I wore boots or the soles of my feet would have scalded into black flakey embers. It was that hot, where merely running into other hikers on the trail would elicit comments like, "hot enough for ya?"

"Why no, since you ask, it's not hot enough for me, would someone please crank up the heat in this place?"

Well, it was still a great day hiking with Millie and Ruby even though I sweated gallons of perspiration and wanted to roll in the huge pile of snow on top of Willey, but I let the dog do that to her heart's content. Millie and I exchanged "lost key" stories- seems we both have our share, and Millie was on the look out for mountain birds. Millie is an amazing hiker, orinthologist, thru hiker and an even more amazing 4th grade teacher. It was fun to hike and our pace was pretty moderate due to the heat. She is leaving soon for the Long Trail, but wanted to get in a few climbs. We spotted some Canadian Jays on the top of Field, but they were reluctant to come too close. I think Ruby's presence held them back. We finished at Willey and I was tempted to tell Millie the story of the poor Willey "ghost" story, but she's not quite ready to tackle the ghosts. But, she's more than ready to tackle the rest of the forrested world! You Go! The poor hot dog finally collapsed in Kendron Brook and wouldn't budge. I didn't blame her. After the hike , Millie raced home and packed up her bird monitoring equipment and spent the night on North Kearsage in the fire tower. Wow!