Monday, August 9, 2010

Hiking in Crawford Notch

Our last hike in Crawford Notch was more than 3 years ago. Yesterday we returned to the Notch for a hike in memory of Aria, our wonderful Shepherd who loved to hike and play and climb on top of boulders before her health began to decline. With 15 month old Kodi along for the hike we were reminded of Aria bounding up the rocky trails, nimble as a mountain goat.

We picked a relatively short seven mile hike that took us to a trio of peaks: Mt Tom (4,051'), Mt Field (4,340'), and Mt. Avalon (3,442'). We reached the three peaks walking a counterclockwise loop via the Avalon Trail to the A-Z Trail to the Willey Range Trail, then back along the Avalon Trail. Most everyone else seemed to be going the other way. We like to be contrary.

Kodi relished each stream and seep, flopping into the deeper pools of clear, cold mountain water. July was hot and dry even in the mountains. Only heavy rains earlier last week likely replenished these streams. The trails were slightly damp or even muddy in places. As we climbed higher we breathed deeply, sniffing fir and spruce needles - the perfume of the North Woods.

The air temperature was pleasant for hiking in shorts and a t-shirt. No bugs or hot sun, although hazy skies clouded our view of the high Presidentials. Mt Washington was clear but hazy as we looked northeast from atop Mt. Field. We rested here, dazzled by six or more large green darner dragonflies snatching bugs and flies in midair as they zoomed around a small, sunny clearing.

Kodi enjoying the view from Mt. Avalon, although also wondering if we are digging out from the pack another smoked turkey and provolone cheese sandwich. He spat out his dog biscuits when he realized what we were having for lunch.

Kodi the hiker, after bagging his first two 4,000-footers.

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