Tecumseh, Aug. 31 (Just Trish, not Alex)
(I've decided to work on the "grid," doing all 48 4K Whites in each month of the year. I anticipate this will take a long, long time. First ascents will always be made with Alex).
Pictures can be found on http://trishgrid.blogspot.com/
Tecumseh Trail from Tripoli Road, 6.2 miles roundtrip.
Second time doing Tecumseh. This time around, the weather was crisp and the wind was gusty. Enough to tell you that autumn is right around the corner.
I decided to try the Tecumseh Trail coming from Tripoli Road this time (instead of the ski area approach Alex and I did the first time around).
I woke early, left a note for Hugh, and got to the trailhead right after daybreak.
The trail starts off flat, and I made quick work of the smooth, easy first mile.
The path comes to a "saddle" at the 1.3-ish mark, then the grade increases to moderate.
I was huffing steadily along now, interested in whether or not I could make book time. This was my first time hiking without Alex, and I was curious about my own natural pace.
The path became ornery -- not because of grade, but because there are three knobs one must climb and descend. Nothing is steep, but psychologically I didn't feel like going up down up down up down. At the top of the first knob there is a look-out point, but I did not check it out on the ascent.
After the three knobs, the path descends into a col between the west peak and the true summit.
At this point there's only .6 miles to go, so I chugged up the remaining pitch.
At the top of this pitch, one can turn around and see some views. I snapped some pictures on the descent, which you can see below, after the summit pictures.
A short walk from the top of that pitch, and I was at the summit cairn.
I was pleased to see I had made it in just under book time. I sat, ate my breakfast, and enjoyed the very fall-like weather. The wind was gusting; at one point my proxy blew away and I had to go retrieve her from the neighboring scrub.
Limited views from the summit:
After a few Cliff Bars and some gulps of water, I began the return journey. I looked over the trees at the top of that first decent pitch. Here's the view from that spot:
I also checked out the view from the top of that first knob (third knob if you're returning).
Descent was quick and easy. I felt good.
About three quarters of a mile from the trailhead, I heard a "cough cough cough" sound. From reading the trip reports of others, I knew that could mean a bear was very close by. Looking down, I saw bear tracks in the mud at my feet.
I backed up a bit, jingled my bear bell awhile, then began to sing "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin.' " Continuing down the path slowly, I made enough noise to annoy other hikers for miles around. I kept that up for a few hundred yards. Of course, I saw no bear. I'm sure all animals cleared that side of the mountain after hearing my infernal racket.
A short time later, the hike was complete!
It was a great hike. Wonderful crisp weather, and I had the trail to myself the entire time.