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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mt. Jackson (#12), 9/13/08, Flags on the 48

Webster-Jackson Trail, 5.2 miles roundtrip.

We drove up to Campton very late the night before this hike. Hugh's flight was delayed and he did not get into Boston until midnight. Therefore, I went to sleep around 3am and got up around 5:45 -- I thought I'd be a grumpy wreck on this hike, but for some reason I felt okay. Alex got a full night's rest -- she went to bed and slept through my transferring her from bed to car, and then from car to NH bed.

Two other cars were at the trailhead when we arrived (around 7:30am) -- usually, we're the first folks on the trail. However, this being a special event, we knew there would be many hikers out and about today.

The day was foggy, which was kind of nice -- Alex finds the concept of walking through clouds intriguing.

The first half of the trail consists of both flat and moderate sections, and it never gets very steep.

There were a few stream crossings, none of which were difficult.

The trail became a bit more rocky, with some stretches having rock steps -- there were lots of roots everywhere, too.

Some cloud-hiking...

We made it to the bit where the trail becomes a loop-hike (one branch goes off to Mt. Webster, the other goes to Mt. Jackson).

Then we took a short sit-down before continuing on toward Jackson.

Every once in a while we came across a tree that looked as though it were the leg and foot of some giant creature.

The pitches never became steep, at least not until we got close to the very top. Just lots of rocks and roots to step on and over.

By and by, we came to some rock slabs. These were wet and slippery, so we were cautious.

Soon after this section, we came to a hunk of exposed roots that Alex took a liking to. She said it looked like a triceratops, a goat, and a leopard all mixed together. She snapped this picture:

Now we are getting close to the top of the treeline...

Then came the fun! We had a bit of rock scrambling and a few ledges to navigate. Though they were damp, they didn't pose much of a problem.

After the ledges, we came to the summit.

An AMC group was there, and a nice woman offered to take our picture together. Alex wanted to be silly, so silly we were.

We we were early for Flags on the 48, so we hung out, talked with everyone who was already there, and took some pictures. The fog was lifting, so we were able to enjoy some views.

The official folks showed up and did the honorable work of securing the flag.

Alex stuck the two little flags we had brought up into the summit cairn, and we took this picture.

Alex and I hung out and enjoyed many pleasant conversations with the other hikers. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mark from the Washington Observatory Forums (it was really nice to meet you, Mark! I hope we meet again soon).

After a while, we headed back the way we had come. We did not visit Mt. Webster, as Alex was feeling tired. On the way up, she had hiked much slower than she normally does. I had commented on it, and she had said she just felt tired. Turns out she was starting to get sick, as today (day after the hike) she's been bedridden with the stomach flu.

In any event, the way down was routine. We almost did the Elephant Head spur, which is close to the trailhead. However, we quickly saw that it goes steeply up, and Alex said she didn't feel like going up anymore that day. So back to the trailhead we went.

We very much enjoyed being a part of Flags on the 48. Thanks to all who coordinated this event! We did not get a chance to talk much to those who took the flag up Jackson, but I hope we get a chance to meet and talk with them sometime in the near future.

So ends our trip up Mt. Jackson, peak #12!

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