Numbers 15, 16, and 17 of the 48 NH 4000 footers.
It was hot today. Quite hot. And not in the figurative, Parish Hilton kind of way; it was straight up mercury rising. On the agenda were Mts. Willey, Field, and Tom.
Because it was so hot, the trip up to Mt. Willey was possibly the hardest 3 miles I’ve hiked in the Whites. It was steep, had a lot of slick rock, and required some big steps that were tough for me at 6’1”. Although, if you are a lady, you can easily remedy that last problem with a set of fashionable hiking heels. On a related note, hiking heels seem like the worst idea ever. Once I got to the Willey summit, I was thinking about throwing in the towel (and then getting a new towel to mop up all the sweat), but then a couple, summitting from the other direction, told me that the trip to Field and Tom was easy. The woman then said, “It shouldn’t be a problem for a young guy like you, should it?” Apparently, it was time to throw down. I packed my Swedish Fish (because that’s what cool guys take on hiking trips), and practically ran my way to Mt. Field, which had some excellent views of Mt. Washington.
The trail was very gradual, and according to the AMC guidebook, only 300 feet of elevation are lost between Willey and Field. I quickly made my way to Mt. Tom through a beautiful mossy forest and was halfway home.
There was a couple on the Mt. Tom summit who were trying to get some birds to eat out of their hand using Goldfish as bait. I mentioned that mountain birds probably don’t eat fish and took their uncomfortable laughter as my cue to move on. As usual, the slog down is 4.5 to 7.3 times harder than coming up, exacerbated by the fact that the only thing I had eaten since starting the hike was a bag of Swedish Fish. Prepared hiker fail. My lack of proper nutrition combined with the temperature forced me to take many, many breaks on the way down, but at least it was without incident.
It was a partly cloudy sky, which made for some very interesting forest lighting; it sort of cast a pallid glow on everything and made for some spectacular shadows on the neighboring mountains, captured terribly in the following pictures:
Upon arriving at home, it was decided that the best way to celebrate this 11.5 mile jaunt was to partake in some ice cream from Benson’s. I highly, highly recommend the cookies and cream — mine had two whole Oreos.
That is that for now. Please don’t forget to donate if you can. A few cents are better than nonsense!