View Full Version : Mt. Jackson, Flags on the 48, 9-13-08

09-14-2008, 03:38 PM
Pictures on our blog, http://trishandalex.blogspot.com/

Webster-Jackson Trail, 5.2 miles roundtrip.

We drove up to Campton very late the night before this hike. Hugh's flight was delayed and he did not get into Boston until midnight. Therefore, I went to sleep around 3am and got up around 5:45 -- thought I'd be a grumpy wreck on this hike but for some reason I felt okay. Alex got a full night's rest -- she went to bed and slept through my transferring her from bed to car, and then from car to NH bed.

Got up, put our packs in the car, woke up Alex, and off we went. Had our usual bagel-with- cream-cheese breakfast on the way to the trailhead.

Two other cars were at the trailhead when we arrived (around 7:30am) -- usually, we're the first folks on the trail. However, this being a special event, we knew there would be many hikers out and about today.

The day was foggy, which was kind of nice -- Alex finds the concept of walking through clouds intriguing.
The first half of the trail consists of both flat and moderate sections, never getting very steep.

There were a few stream crossings, none of which were difficult.

The trail became a bit more rocky, some stretches having rock steps -- lots of roots everywhere, too.

Some cloud-hiking...

We made it to the bit where the trail becomes a loop-hike (one branch goes off to Mt. Webster, the other goes to Mt. Jackson).

We took a short sit-down, then continued on toward Jackson.
Every once in a while we came across a tree that looked as though it were the leg and foot of some giant creature.

Pitches never became steep, at least not until we got close to the very top. Just lots of rocks and roots to step on and over.

By and by, we came to some rock slabs. These were wet and slippery, so we were cautious.

Soon after this section, we came to a hunk of exposed roots that Alex took a liking to. She said it looked like a triceratops, a goat, and a leopard all mixed together. She snapped this picture:

Now we are getting close to the top of the treeline...

Then came the fun! We had a bit of rock scrambling and a few ledges to navigate. Though they were damp, they didn't pose much of a problem. We were slow and careful, and so we enjoyed the process.

After the ledges, we came to the summit.

An AMC group was there, and a nice woman offered to take our picture together. Alex wanted to be silly, so silly we were.

We we were early for Flags of the 48, so we hung out, talked with everyone who was already there, and took some pictures. The fog was lifting, so we were able to enjoy some views.

The flag folks showed up, and did the honorable work of securing the flag. The wind cooperated, unfurling the flag and making it billow nicely.

Alex stuck the two little flags we had brought up into the summit cairn, and we took this picture.

Alex and I hung out and enjoyed many pleasant conversations with the other hikers. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mark from the Washington Observatory Forums (it was really nice to meet you, Mark! I hope we meet again soon).

After a while, we headed back the way we had come. We did not visit Mt. Webster, as Alex was feeling tired. On the way up, she had hiked much slower than she normally does. I had commented on it, and she had said she just felt tired. Turns out she was starting to get sick, as today (day after the hike) she's been bedridden with the stomach flu.

In any event, the way down was routine. We almost did the Elephant Head spur, which is close to the trailhead. However, we quickly saw that it goes steeply up, and Alex said she didn't feel like going up anymore that day. So back to the trailhead we went.

We very much enjoyed being a part of Flags on the 48. Thanks to all who coordinated this event! We did not get a chance to talk much to those who took the flag up Jackson, but I hope we get a chance to meet and talk with them sometime in the near future.

09-14-2008, 05:29 PM
It sounds like you both had a great day. I hope to be able to do some hiking next year. Let her know I am very sorry she is sick, and I hope she feels better soon. :(

09-14-2008, 09:24 PM
Thanks -- it was a really nice day. She hiked way slower than normal up the peak, but other than that she seemed fine. I commented to her three times about it, asking her why she was going so slowly (in a kind way, I think and hope), until she finally snapped, "I'm just tired, mama, we're not in a hurry, right?!" :o I suppose I deserved that, but I was just really wondering why she was hiking at an incredibly slow pace (for her). Had no idea she was falling ill. At the peak, and on the way down, she was her normal cheery, chatty, energetic happy self. I thought at the time she might be catching her sister's head cold. However, today she's kept nothing down. Guess we'll be taking a sick day tomorrow and chilling out quietly at home.

09-14-2008, 09:39 PM
Nah... you are just a worried mama. I really hope she gets to feeling better soon. I know when one of my six were ill, it was no fun. For some reason I was thinking she was somewhere close to teen years. She is still a baby!! :p Before you know it she will be up and about, to where you can't keep up!! LOL

09-14-2008, 10:39 PM
Great trip report and pictures Trish. You're quicker than I am - I'm still sorting and post processing pics. Hopefully will have my TR tomorrow. It was great meeting you and Alex on Jackson. I really loved Alex's account of the peaks she's visited and the "slightly more than exciting" hike on Mt Tom. She's quite a trooper. Wonderful that she loves this so much. Hope to meet you guys on more mountains in the future!!!

09-14-2008, 11:35 PM
She's quite a trooper. Wonderful that she loves this so much.

I totally agree! Does anyone else feel like we are watching her grow up? Get her some Wilderness First Aid classes and when she gets older she can help litter us older folks off the mountains.:)

09-15-2008, 07:30 AM
Get her some Wilderness First Aid classes and when she gets older she can help litter us older folks off the mountains.:)

As soon as she is old enough to participate, I am sure she will happily take one of the first aid classes (I'm doing the AMC one Nov. 1-2). I will wholeheartedly encourage that (might even push for it).

It's nice you folks are so supportive. Thank you for all of the kind comments.

09-15-2008, 03:49 PM
Nice TR Trish! Thanks. Looks like it was yet another great day for you and Alex even if she was a bit slower than usual.

09-15-2008, 04:59 PM
Hi Trish,

Glad you had a good trip on Jackson. We were worried when we looked off to the northeast from Franconia Ridge. It was so dark and cloudy that we couldn't see Mt Washington at all. We thought about you two and Mark up there. Maybe it was more haze and less real *clouds* than we thought. Your pictures were beautiful.

I'm sorry Alex is feeling ill. I hope she gets better soon.


09-15-2008, 05:39 PM
Tim and Val,

Looking forward to your pictures! And to meeting you out there someday.

The fog cleared beautifully, just in time for the noon-2pm timeframe.

Thanks for your words regarding Alex. She's already much better tonight, having rested all day yesterday and much of this morning. She's back to eating and playing, and by tomorrow she'll probably be 100%.

09-15-2008, 08:26 PM
I am continually amazed that a child that small can climb those mountains - I didn't climb Washington till I was seven. I love to see it. :)

And you got a new camera, I see. What is it?

09-16-2008, 07:31 AM
Thanks, Acrophobe. Keep in mind she didn't do all of Washington at one go. That would have been way too much for her this year.

The Ammonoosuc trail has to be the easiest way to summit Washington, in my very inexperienced view. Being able to spend the night at Lakes of the Clouds made that trip possible. I don't think she could have done it this year otherwise.

Also, I've been keeping the hikes to within a range I know she can handle. 8 to 9 miles, with 3000 feet elevation gain tops. Many mountains will have to wait until her legs grow a bit longer.

From birth, my daughter has been a very energetic, all-over-the-place kid. We quickly learned that for her to act "normally," she needed a lot of outdoor time and plenty of exercise. There was a 5 minute period where I thought she might have Aspergers, but I now know that's not the case. She's just a very bright kid who NEEDS to move a lot.

My husband and his family were outdoors all the time when he was growing up. He went on many hikes as a young child. He was taking short winter solo hikes when he was 8, and he accompanied his older brothers and sisters on long hikes when he was Alex's age and maybe younger. So I'm guessing it's in the genes.

The new camera is a Sony, and very similar to what I had before. I don't know enough about photography to purchase anything expensive, so I just get the basic digital thing.

09-16-2008, 11:10 AM
Glad to hear there were other forum members out for the Flags! I love your report and the pics of Alex somehow always make me smile. The last one of her by the trail sign just cracks me up. :P

09-16-2008, 06:57 PM
I love your report and the pics of Alex somehow always make me smile. The last one of her by the trail sign just cracks me up. :P

Thanks, BlueDog.

She ALWAYS wants to make a silly face for the camera. It's very hard to take a "normal' picture of her. She's probably be 12 before you see a trip report with her smiling normally in it. :rolleyes: