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FisherCat
07-06-2008, 05:13 PM
My Week Back Home: June 28-July 5

After getting rained out in early June it wouldn’t take much to beat expectations. Our first hike was June 29, but that was a separate Trip Report that can be found here:

Ye Olde Hiking: An Essay on the Pursuit of Hiking, History, & Family


June 30: Today was a day spent on trailwork. Rained heavy again last night forcing us inside for a best of three cribbage tournament which I lost. Simple breakfast cooked on the ol’ Giga, picked up lunch at P&C and off we went. Cleaned 14 waterbars, partially rebuilding #3 at the top of Waterbar Hill. Lower sections of Osseo Trail have seen a lot of run-off, but that is expected after all the rain. When preparing to head up trail at LW lot we were approached by a mother with 4 kids asking for some bug-dope as she ran out before dosing her last child. We let her have some and she proceeded to spray down, quite thoroughly I might add, the whole group, all the time lauding the scent of our bug dope. Leading us to the conclusion that she hadn’ t really treated any of them prior. Oh well. They took off down LW, but we caught up with them and she asked us where the swimming holes on the Pemi were. I told her I had no idea but that even if I did, the Pemi was running hard and fast and no adult, let alone young children should be in there that day. She said she would turn back and head for Sabbaday Falls instead. It was a good day for trailwork with comfy temps and varying skies. All in all a great day.

July 1: I have the opportunity to record some interesting events as of late. First, I feel like I am vacationing in Canada this week. With their Independence Day, the French Canadians are everywhere. I don’t mean this in a critical way, after all, my wife is French-Canadian and she keeps me informed of the conversations on trail and campsite as they swirl around me. I enjoy the diversity and the lunches they pack for on-trail are stupendous. When hiking Jackson on Sunday, F&G were there with a litter up on Elephant’s Head in Crawford. Though I’ve inquired, no one knows what came of it. Another person who committed suicide down in Franconia was discovered by dogs on Sunday. How sad! Another person, apparently unstable or with unprecedented boldness, leapt out of a moving car on the Kanc and had run into the woods. A final note, a hiker was missing on Big W but exited the woods under their own power but overdue. Began hike at 730, up Falling Waters, over to Lincoln and Lafayette via Franconia Ridge, down OBP. Seven hours with 40min lunch at Greenleaf. Saw many people today, singles, pairs, and whole families. All falls on FW majestic. Clouds on Lafayette, visibility to S and W. This hike reminded me of how wonderful the Franconia Ridge is. I got to see mountain avens (My wife spotted them first)and cinquefoil. Temps were great and though for a period it looked like rain, it never materialized. Met a nice, older man (with Waimea Country Club hat) with two walking sticks who was “just goin’ to the ledges” off OBP. Picked up a trail of Hershey’s Mini’s wrappers some twit was dropping the whole length of FW.

July 2: Another day of trailwork. This time on the Alpine Garden Trail. We were assigned anything we could do on the stretch of trail from Huntington to the Nelson Crag junction. We walked its length first heading north, then turned and started work going back south. We knocked down 3 tourist cairns, rebuilt 2 legitimate ones and worked on scree walls. We had enough time to work up to the 4/5 cairn. The sole purpose was to better define the walkway and keep hikers from straying into vegetation. On the whole, its entire length needs scree work, but we did what we could for the day. Clouds rolled out of Huntington all day, so at times we could see the Sherman Adams building, then the next minute only 50ft. Going far off trail for scree rock is the key, you can’t take it from too close to the trail. So we had a lot of hauling to do and then you work them in like pieces in a puzzle. For our efforts we were rewarded with the companionship of 2 inquisitive juncos. We began to question if our efforts would have success when lo and behold, 2 hikers came out of the mist heading toward us. We quickly grabbed some snacks and situated ourselves off trail, giving the appearance of being on break. We needed one anyway! We wanted to observe if they would followed the scree we had made. We were overjoyed when they did. We exchanged greetings and normal conversation but gave no impression exactly what we were working on. After they passed we hurriedly chased after them because they had stopped at Nelson Crag to snack themselves and thanked them for giving us the satisfaction of making our efforts complete.
At the end of the work day we opted for a tour of the Obs. We’ve been members for a time but never took the tour. Thanks you Ted, you did a great job! I also got to pat Marty and get some pics, first as he slept, and then as he began his fastidious cleaning process. Big news was that recently he had chased a summit fox off the top. I told Ted that Pushka had always been my favorite and had actually killed two weasels on different occasions at the summit.
There is something to working on the Big W. Under all that rock, soil, and vegetation, its heart beats. You hear it when you have the time to sit, when you’re not in a rush. If you have the time and listen carefully, you can hear it breathe, I swear its true. Minus the buildings, the commercialism, and all that jazz exists, within the inanimate, a living being. I don’t lay claim to know what its saying, nor do I know what it wants. I do know I like being there to hear it speak.

July 3- Today was the day for the Tripyramids. Trip was completed in 6h and 40m. One of the buggiest hikes I have ever been on in my life. When you see mosquitoes in formation, you know you have a problem. From the moment we stepped onto Pine Bend Brook Trail they were on us. Another note: If the survival of the hobblebush as a species was dependent on one area, this was it. One had to crawl-stroke through a veritable sea of it. Trail has numerous blowdowns, but all are navigable by going around, under, or over. A bit wet in places. No wildlife, but lots of moose poop up high. Met BIGEarl and his companion (who I now know was Trail Trotter)in the col between Middle and North as we were returning. They had come up the slides and I was thrilled to finally meet a forum member on trail!
Though not reaching treeline this was a great hike. I was skeptical if I would like it, but in the end I really did. When I was young(er), a hike wasn’t a hike unless you got above treeline. Hence, my youth was spent almost entirely on the Presi’s. Now I realize the expansive world that exists below treeline, and I’ve come to appreciate much more. Today B&D (my wife, aka Bound & Determined) hiked like a machine, she really hit her trail legs.

July 4- Today was a 12 mile haul for N&S Twin and Galehead. Present were myself, Forester Jake (my brother-in-law), my brother Brian, his son (and my nephew)Tim, and their family quadruped Calvin the golden retriever, aka Dog of the People, America’s Dog, and the Uberpooch. Hike time was 6h and 50m. Gorgeous, gorgeous day! Great temps and visibility. Only wildlife we saw was a big black bear who trotted then stopped in the middle of Rt 3 while on return drive. No people were seen until the ledges of N Twin, where we spied people atop S Twin. By the end of the hike we counted 37 people, most of them as we walked out, and they were headed towards Galehead Hut. Used the North Twin, North Twin Spur, Twinway, Frost, and Gale River Trails.
I had not hiked with a dog in years and had forgotten how they have the uncanny ability to get all four of their feet plotted exactly where you desire to put yours. This being especially the case during descent. There was a nice caretaker on duty at Galehead who at the time was making a large batch of chocolate cupcakes for the evening. They would be busy as the night of the 4th they said they had only 2 openings left. Neither my brother or nephew had hiked in 2 years, at that, my brother had broken his ankle this past February. However, they were more than up to the challenge, as evident by our time. We took turns pacing the front, but despite the fact we were more staggered apart at the end (always being in earshot) we finished together. Both Calvin and Tim fell asleep while returning for the AM carspot. For the first time a member of the family used trekking poles, but it was excused to Brian’s recovering ankle. Ascent up N Twin is a haul but fortunately a week if hiking allowed the trail legs to kick in early.
What a week, and what a blast. Be back August 2! Thanks for reading and please enjoy the pics linked below. Many are the standard viewshots, mixed with trailwork pics, and all that usual stuff.

PS- There are a lot of pics, after all, we were there for a week. Feel free to skip over any you may feel are boring!

http://fishercat.smugmug.com/gallery/5343157_5tnyt#326685332_XHnHL

Brad
07-06-2008, 05:31 PM
Oh my goodness, I am tired after reading this TR.