On Mount Webster
Mounts Webster 3910' and Jackson 4052'
6.5 miles 2500' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma saw Wendy, Lori and Glenn
We had been thinking about doing this hike for awhile. What we had actually planned was to hike from Webster to Pierce as we had never been on the Webster Cliff Trail between Jackson and Mizpah Hut. I guess that will have to wait for another time as the humidity and my being on antibiotics really sapped my energy. A bad tooth has been plaguing me. I thought I had it beat Thursday when I got an emergency root canal until I broke the tooth and filling Thursday night and the dentist wasn't in again until Monday. By Saturday morning I really needed a day in the mountains. So, instead of the Webster to Pierce hike, we lolligagged on Webster visiting with some friends before we trudged over to Jackson for some more lolligagging.
We hiked the loop in a counterclockwise direction which brought us past the beautiful waterfall on the Silver Cascade Brook. The log has been there since we first did this hike in '98. By mid afternoon the air did clear some, which made hanging on the summits a more pleasurable experience than the hike up in what felt like a tropical rain forest. Distant views were hazy, but Mount Washington to our northeast cleared and tremendous billowing cumulus clouds gathered nearby making the skies and scenery quite interesting and inspiring. We met up with our friends on Mount Webster where we had lunch together while watching the Conway Scenic Railroad train chug through Crawford Notch on its way to Crawford Depot.
Waterfall on Silver Cascade Brook
Emma was becoming overheated in the sun, so Judy started over to Jackson to get her back down in the shade of the trees. I followed after and soon caught up. The last few times we had been this way was on deep snowpack and we were sort of shocked to see that the trees were really 20-25' high, not the 10-12' they seemed when we were walking on snow. The trail between summits is pretty easy, winding through the trees and across several bog bridges. There are a few minor scrambles that are non-existent in the snow. Everything was wet and the trail muddy from the rain the night before. We soon made the short scramble to the summit of Mount Jackson where we discovered that the Presidentials had cleared to our northest and Mount Washington was standing proud above them.
Feeding the Whiskey Jack
Gray Jay Perisoreus canadensis
By now I was feeling the effects of the humidity as well as the poor sleep the past few days from a sore tooth. There was nothing left to do but sit down and have a second lunch and enjoy the views. Before long our friends showed up and joined us again and we told some stories and had a few laughs while we watched the clouds. Soon some real entertainment showed up in the form of Grayjays and Judy set about the work of holding out treats for them to fly in and steal. We noted that like other beggar birds, such as Canada geese and pigeons, they were quite wary of the dog. They would fearlessly fly into a hand that could easily crush them, but would not come in if the disinterested dog was too near. Thousands of years of instinct bred into them to be aware of the small furry predator.
Mount Washington and the Southern Presidentials
We eventually dragged ourselves away from this peaceful scene to start the scramble down from the summit over the still wet rocks. This was made slightly more treacherous by the ample mud which stuck to our boots and gave slippery slides on even the dry surfaces. We made our way back down, around, over and through dozens of brooks and trickles and Emma had plenty of places to cool off and take a quick drink. The humidity of the earlier part of the day had taken its toll on us and we were all feeling the hike down seemed long despite its relatively short distance. Despite eating twice, I was starving and when we got down we quickly packed into the car and headed off to find something to eat. A good day out despite the humidity and the wrestling with a sore tooth.
Signs of Things to Come
Full set of pics HERE: