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Trailwork, Mt Pierce, Mt Eisenhower - page 2 of 2

Day 2

I had considered working on the Mt Clinton Trail a second day, but changed my mind because the spot I left off was so far downhill from the hut. I also needed to get home by six o'clock or so as it was Friday and our family was going out for the evening after I returned.

After breakfast, I packed up my things, said goodbye to the croo and the other guests, and headed out to climb Mt Pierce. Then, if I had enough energy left, I was going to continue to Mt Eisenhower. I figured I could take the Edmands Path down and then hike back to the Highland Center on Mt Clinton Road.

It's a steep and invigorating climb up the Webster Cliff Trail from the hut, and I paused a number of times to catch my breath. The trail finally reaches the ridgecrest at a large open ledge, where there are some good views to the south. A couple of gray jays flitted into a nearby balsam fir, watching hopefully to see whether I had anything to eat. I managed to get a decent picture of them before they gave up and flew away.

The views from on top of Mt Pierce were spectacular and amazingly clear. The closeup shots I took of Mts Eisenhower and Washington were unusually sharp and detailed, totally unlike the hazy pictures I usually end up with.

Although I was a bit tired, the clarity of the air was too good to waste, and I made the decision to continue up the Crawford Path to Mt Eisenhower. The trail meanders along the ridge, falling and rising over numerous minor knolls. In one chilly hollow, I stopped to take a picture of some frost-covered mountain cranberry leaves that looked a lot like tiny white flowers. To the west, the Mt Washington Hotel seemed almost close enough to reach out and touch through my camera's zoom lens.

I decided to continue on the Crawford Path to the north side of Mt Eisenhower, where the Edmands Path joins the Crawford Path at Red Pond. That way, I could leave my heavy pack at the bottom while I climbed Mt Eisenhower, and then pick it up again on the way down.

At the top of Mt Eisenhower, I ran into a nice couple who were Search and Rescue volunteers for NH Fish and Game. They were out on a pleasure day hike - their first trip up Mt Eisenhower - and were nice enough to take my picture at the summit cairn.

Since they were also planning on going down the Edmands Path, I ended up hiking back with them. On the way down, they told me a few interesting stories about some of the rescues they'd been on, several of which I'd read about online or in the paper, along with some others that had managed to escape publicity.

Their truck was parked at the trailhead, and they gave me a ride back to the Highland Center, saving me a 2-mile road walk, which I was grateful for. After returning my tools, I stopped at Quizno's in Twin Mountain for lunch, and then started home, ready to enjoy the weekend.

Webster Cliff Trail. The trail scrambles up this steep ledge to reach the view in the photo below.

Looking south from the first open ledge on the Webster Cliff Trail,

Fog in the lowlands. Overnight, pockets of fog had formed in the low areas to the northwest.

Gray jays. These two gray jays hung around for a short time, until they figured out that I didn't have anything to eat at the moment.

Lowland color. Birch trees provide a hint of orange-brown color in a sea of green and brown.

Mts Eisenhower, Monroe, and Washington from the summit of Mt Pierce. It was a rare day with exceedingly clear and detailed views.

Closeup of Mt Washington. The thin line of the cog meanders up the west face of Mt Washington to the right of Mt Eisenhower's broad summit cone.

Frosty leaves. Looking almost like tiny white flowers, these mountain cranberries leaves were covered in early morning frost.

Closeup of Mt Washington Hotel. As more evidence for the clarity of the air, the Mt Washington Hotel seems close enough to reach out to from the slopes of Mt Eisenhower.

A rare shot of me on the summit of Mt Eisenhower taken by someone else. Usually limited to self-portraits, I was lucky enough to run into a couple of Fish and Game volunteers out on a day hike.

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