View Full Version : Jefferson (2); The Link Trail ate my camera (September 6)

09-06-2008, 05:25 PM
(Just Trish, not Alex -- Trish's slow slow grid work)

Caps Ridge Trail, Link Trail, Castle Trail to summit, Caps Ridge back down to car (loop hike).

Total miles: just under 7, exact count later.

There are no pictures for this trip report. There would have been, but the Link Trail ate my camera. I'll explain later.

We got into Campton very late last night, since Hugh had to work at MIT later than usual. Therefore, I did not get to bed until 1am, and I got up at 5am, so I was running on 4 hours of broken sleep.

Got to the trailhead by 6:30. Started off, having had no breakfast or coffee, and on very little sleep. The first 1.1 miles were easy and as I remember from the first time around. A few moderate pitches, mostly easy, good footing. However, it took me a while to get into it, having had little sleep and no coffee.

Came to the Link Trail, and I decided to take it and then summit using the Castle Trail.

The White Mountain book describes this trail as being heavily eroded, with difficult footing.
That would be a huge understatement!!! Though this trail did not ascend or descend much (it's a connector path between ascending/descending trails), it was overgrown and BADLY eroded. I mean VERY badly. Countless times I put my hiking poles on what looked like solid ground, only to have that bit of trail fall away beneath my feet and go sliding down the mountain. Trees were overturned everywhere, and I had to climb over many root systems. I'd step on boulders (with trail blazes on them) and they'd go toppling over and off the path. There were animal dens everywhere around and underneath the trail. I'm sure I walked on the ceiling of a hundred animal homes today. The path itself was narrow, and tree branches grew over the middle. I gave up avoiding spider webs and leaves after the first half mile and just accepted that I'd come off this trail covered with all kinds of stuff, from head to toe.

Then...after around 1.5 miles of this godforsaken path...my camera slipped off my backpack strap and fell to the ground. Then it slid into an animal den, under a tree root system. Arg!

I put my pack down, got out my headlamp, and shined it down into the dirt tunnel. I could see the camera, it was WAY down there. The hole was only big enough for my arm to reach through, not my shoulder. I tried a hiking pole. Nope, didn't reach. I overextended a hiking pole. Still a negative. I taped two hiking poles together, end to end, and then tried to fish it out. I could reach the camera, but I could not catch it to bring it up the shaft. The dirt walls were too loose, the camera just kept slipping back downward after I brought it up a bit. I took out my cord and tried creating a slipknot, but I couldn't get it around the camera. I lay on the ground with my arm sticking in the hole for almost an hour, trying everything I could think of to get the damn thing out. I could see it plainly, but in the end I just could not retrieve the thing.

Finally, I realized that I had been lucky thus far -- no animal had come through one of the other tunnels of that hole to bite me for being so intrusive...and I bade a very sad, fond farewell to my little camera. I put a very small strip of blaze orange tape on one of the upturned roots over the hole. The hole is maybe .1 miles from the intersection with the Castle Trail. If anyone happens to be going along that path in the foreseeable future and can fish the thing out, I'd be eternally grateful. However, I understand it's most likely gone for good. Pooh.

Now royally pissed off, frustrated, and covered in dirt from lying on the ground for so long, I continued along the Link Trail and found the Castle Trail intersection. I went up up up on the Castle Trail. This trail was lovely! I climbed over each of the Castles (large, tall outcrops of rocks that look like...well, castles). Views into ravine systems and valleys, the feeling of walking in the sky, etc. It was lovely. However, the whole time I was ticked that I couldn't take pictures.

After much hard work and a fair bit of rock scrambling, I came to the summit cone of Jefferson. Lots of rock-hopping, and I was at the top.

Met up with a fellow named Andrew. He's a member of a local hiking group near Boston. We'd made contact yesterday -- he was planning on doing Adams and then Jefferson, and he wanted to know if anyone wanted to join him. I had told him I'd perhaps see him on Jefferson. I was amazed he was there. I thought my hour of camera-fishing would have cost me our meeting. However, turns out he had just gotten there. He's a nice fellow, and I hope to see him on future hikes soon.

We ate together, then he started heading back toward Adams, and I headed down the Caps Ridge Trail. There had been a bit of fog and very slight drizzle that morning, but overall the views were good, and getting better by the hour.

While climbing down the middle Cap, I looked to my right and saw -- the most beautiful, vivid rainbow I have ever seen. The top of it was beneath the second Cap, and it extended from the side of Jefferson over toward Adams. It was so bright and clear, it seemed as though my girls had drawn it with their oil pastels. There was a second, much fainter rainbow above the main one. It was spectacular. I sat there and took it all in. I was simultaneously breathless at the beauty of it and supremely annoyed at not being able to take a picture.

Came down from the Caps and made short work of the easy bit of trail in the trees.

Got back to the car and found out Hugh had called 5 times. I was late in getting back from the hike and he was worried. I explained what had happened with the camera. As I spoke with him, I heard the girls in the background. Sage was upset, having thought I had died (!), and Alex was angry at me for having gone on a hike without her. This, of course, after she had said she did not want to hike this weekend. We had spoken about this extensively yesterday -- she knew it might rain, so she wanted to wait. She knew I was going to a mountain we had already done. But still, she ended up being angry that I went without her. Tonight she keeps asking me if we can go together tomorrow (we can't, we have plans as a family together). Times like this reinforce that she's doing all this hiking for the love of it, not for me. The two times I have hiked here without her (when she's said she didn't want to go), I've gotten royal 5-year-old attitude upon my return.

So, an interesting day. A good hike -- it kicked my bootie, I am so NOT in shape. Weather turned out fine, hooray! Now no more hikes for a couple of weeks. And I must get a new camera.

09-06-2008, 07:04 PM
((( Trish )))

Jefferson does have a nasty reputation for kicking butt.

All that trail erosion has NOT been helped by the amount of rain we've had this summer, its just a bummer, big bag of downers.

So, here is my rainbow thought of the day for you, ........ as one who so appreciates a fine picture and has worked very hard in the past to craft my own...... without much success.

The best of pictures will remain in your memory all the days of your life. You cannot erase YOUR memories of experience, lose those memories to fire, water or any other disaster. Your memories are yours to have and to hold dear for yourself. They are more dear, sometimes, when unshared and seen only on your own.

Yes it is nice to capture - and share-the-moment, but really, who was there? for who and why? For YOU????? YES FOR YOU! IT was YOUR experience! YOU had the experience, and You got YOUR treat for the effort. YOU won't forget what you saw and how it felt. That is YOUR gift. Camera down in a hole and you can't share pics is a message to YOU that the hike was FOR YOU, and as a MOM, you deserve some gifts to and for your very-own-self, to keep for your very own.

Hugs, Trish.


09-06-2008, 07:46 PM
Sounds like another exciting hiking experience! Sometimes a vivid description of a hike is even better than a few photos. It shows you are a wonderful writer. A good novel doesn't need any photographs.

Of course I say this and I am always taking photos on the trail. Most of the time I take too many. I am sorry that you lost your camera.

I always keep extra batteries and now I will take a back up camera along just in case. A camera in my pocket and one in my pack and I should be ready for any photo opportunity.

Now if I could only be ready for any hiking situation.

I think it's great that you are getting out there so often and I look forward to many more fine photos from your future adventures.

KD Talbot
09-06-2008, 07:55 PM
Having lost 2 cameras to paddling mishaps and another on a windblown tripod I can say I have some idea of how frustrating it must have been. I think I'd have snapped a gasket if I could see it and not been able to reach it, though.

What Breeze says about pictures though is the truest statement there is. I've taken 10s of thousands of pictures, and you know what? All the best ones were never with a camera. They are in my head. The shots I didn't get.

Great story!


09-06-2008, 08:32 PM
The Link Trail ate my camera. Now no more hikes for a couple of weeks. And I must get a new camera.

{{{Trisha}}} I am so sorry to hear that!!! Joe and I went on a day trip the other day (I will post thread later) and he was laughing at me, I just got a new camera for $250, and any shots I took that the cord was not around my neck IE around a tree over a cliff, I had the strap wrapped around my wrist twice and a good grip on the camera. He laughs and says "You are not taking any chances are you?" I said "NOPE" LOL. Then what happens?? Joe breaks his Nikon that he just had replaced about a year and a half ago because he dropped it!! LOL. So I wasn't able to figure out the tiniest pieces, but I did manage to get the zoom popped back into place and 2 of the 4 pieces put back on, and it is taking pictures again!! I just hope no one comes by and takes the tape off :eek:http://bestsmileys.com/mouthzippedshut/4.gif

09-06-2008, 08:38 PM
Even with the lost camera your trip report showed us all the pictures. A picture may be worth a thousand words but it this case it is the other way around. Very happy that it was the camera and not you that went "down the rabbit hole".

09-06-2008, 08:44 PM
Even with the lost camera your trip report showed us all the pictures. A picture may be worth a thousand words but it this case it is the other way around. Very happy that it was the camera and not you that went "down the rabbit hole".

This is so true!! I also want to say glad you are ok!!! Cameras can be replaced, You can't be!!

((((BIG HUGS)))

09-07-2008, 06:58 AM
Thanks, Breeze. That really touched me. As a homeschooling mom who gave up a career to do what I feel is best for my family, and as the wife of someone who often works long hours, I don't get a lot of time to do things for just me. This summer, Alex and I have both discovered we really love to hike. I miss her when she's not with me, but going alone is very nice too. My own pace, my own interests, etc. It's a time of solitude (and of much needed exercise!).

Anyway, thanks for the words, I appreciate it.

Everyone else: thanks for the supportive words. Nice to know I'm not the only one who's lost a camera. Not to mean I'd wish that on someone else, but, well, you know what I mean.

I didn't expect to receive so many responses on this post. I appreciate the kindness of you folks.

09-07-2008, 07:50 AM
You homeschool, eh? How's that working, then? I and my four siblings were homeschooled all the way through high school. Is that what you're planning to do? If you don't mind me asking, of course.

I haven't decided if that's what I'm going to do if I ever have kids of my own.

09-07-2008, 07:54 AM
We have neighbors here in NC who are home schooling their 3 children. They are the nicest folks and great neighbors. The kids are being brought up very well - and it is easy to see. In Maine we have a high school boy who has been doing odd jobs around the yard for us - he is home schooled. Hard worker - interested in all sorts of things - and as polite and as willing to help as they come.

This is not to say that all home schooled kids are great - but, the ones where we have seen the parents really work at it, the results are very good. Part of it is the parents understand there is more to schooling than sitting in a classroom - like hiking and learning outdoors.

09-07-2008, 08:23 AM
How was your homeschooling experience, Acrophobe?

So far, so good for us. We've been doing formal academics with Alex for a year now, at her request. She was a very early reader and has always had a need for structure. Sage is still too young for anything very formal, so I just go over basic phonics with her right now.

We love homeschooling. They wake up when they wake up, we do all our schoolwork in the morning, then they have the afternoon for outside play, extracurricular classes (of which there are probably too many) and playdates.

Flexibility is key. We want the kids to work at their own pace and follow their own interests as much as possible. We will homeschool as long as everyone continues to be happy with it. We like that they can avoid school fads, bad school food, and bully issues. (We're secular, so none of this is for religious reasons). They have good friends, both homeschooled and regular-schooled.

Back to hiking -- when they're older, and only if Sage also one day shows a love for hiking, we could take many months off and do a few long trails, or go hut-to-hut hiking in the Italian Alps. Or do some other trip that suits everyone's idea of a good time. Homeschooling enables us to potentially take off and venture outside for weeks/months.

Bottom line is that we have more options. Our family likes to have options, neither my husband nor myself have ever taken kindly to being hemmed in.

09-07-2008, 10:07 AM
Sorry about your camera. Just think in one or two thousand years some scientist is going to find that thing and get a glimpse into what life was like back in the 21st century.

09-07-2008, 10:27 AM
Sorry about your camera. Just think in one or two thousand years some scientist is going to find that thing and get a glimpse into what life was like back in the 21st century.

and just think of the animal in the hole is now taking pictures of all his friends :eek:
so just think of what the scientist will think :D

and better it the camera and not you that is in the hole

09-07-2008, 04:32 PM
Sorry about your camera. Just think in one or two thousand years some scientist is going to find that thing and get a glimpse into what life was like back in the 21st century.

True, didn't think of that. :)

09-07-2008, 08:07 PM
I didn't expect to receive so many responses on this post. I appreciate the kindness of you folks.
Well what are friends for?? We have to watch out for each other!!:D

09-07-2008, 09:36 PM
How was your homeschooling experience, Acrophobe?

Well, actually, I've recently found myself regretting the fact that I was homeschooled for the whole way. I never had any friends growing up, and even now find difficulty in social situations. It, in my opinion, really doesn't prepare a young person for life beyond high school - homeschooled students tend to be less able to deal with the occasional unpleasant person that we all have to deal with, are less independent, and just less able to deal with affairs that reach beyond the home. I'm just starting tertiary education now, and I find myself dreading it more then anything else I've ever done - mostly because it's just a radical departure from the stuffy and secure confines of a home school enviroment that is all I've ever known.

But that's just my opinion - by no means should you think I'm trying to rain on your parade. Indeed, I think homeschooling could in fact be quite beneficial during a child's formulative years.

09-07-2008, 10:00 PM
Hi Acrophobe,

I'm sorry you had that experience. I don't know your age, but is it possible your social situation came from not knowing many other homeschoolers? Early homeschooled kids had it tough, I think. Not too long ago, there weren't many families doing it.

There are a TON of homeschoolers where we live near Boston, and events/social gatherings happen multiple times a week. Alex and Sage have three sets of dear friends (siblings within three families). We visit each family weekly, for hours at a time. The girls also have a myriad of outside activities where they're with other kids on a regular basis.

Also, FYI, there have been actual studies (early 2000s) done on the "social" aspect of homeschoolers. The results conclude that homeschoolers tend to be more friendly, more able to enjoy the company of kids of all ages, and more politically active. They also, on average, outscore the "school" kids on standardized tests. And, from what I've personally seen and witnesseed -- homeschooled kids/teens seem to be pretty happy.

I had a public school education, and I feel the same way you do, but toward "building" school. I had a stuffy building education, was only taught how to take a test, was given vast quantities of misinformation paraded as fact, had to deal with social issues one only finds in school (bullies and no parental/authority intervention), and wasted a vast majority of time having to memorize what others felt important. I was a straight-A student, but I didn't feel I learned anything except how to successfully cram for a test.

When it came to college and grad school, I had the time of my life. Much, much different than K-12.

So the moral? The outcome of any educational situation most likely depends on the circumstances surrounding the process. If you were an isolated homeschooler, you'll probably feel negative about the experience. If you were a bored and bullied public school kid, you'll probably feel negative about THAT experience. And so on. Luckily, today there are many choices and opportunities, so we can each create the "right" environment for our kids -- whatever "right" means to each of us, individually.

ETA: Acrophobe and anyone else, I'd be happy to continue this conversation via pm. I suggest this because I realize, after posting the above, that the thread could move way off-topic. Don't want to make trouble with the moderators. :o)