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
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
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
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
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.