Sunday, August 29, 2010
10. 3 Hike Camel's Hump in all Four Seasons -- Summer
Something I've learned is that sometimes a great way to experience something new is to do something that's familiar -- but in an unfamiliar way. That's what the Summer hike on Camel's Hump was meant to do. At this point, I've done the Burrows Trail a number of times with a bunch of different friends (which is not to say it's getting old -- I'm always up for another hike). But the point of this time was to see what hiking at night would be like, and what the view at dawn would be at the top. The hike was originally scheduled for July, but had to be called off because of threats of bad weather. So, this weekend, the last before school starts, seemed like the last opportunity.
Unfortunately, many of the original crew opted out for various reasons. Some who had graduated had left town for new jobs, and those who are continuing students at Saint Mike's were just arriving back on campus and moving in and re-connecting with roommates and friends. Happily, though, three intrepid souls were up for the challenge. The first two were Josh, my rock climbing/paddle boarding/snow shoeing student-coach and his incredibly good-natured girlfriend, Ali. And Siham was game as well, and drove down from Boston. We used the opportunity to do something on her list on Friday night -- attend a game of the Lake Monsters, our local minor league team. Siham had never seen (semi) professional baseball, and although we hit the game late, we had a very fun time.
After the game we met our friend. Thato, for some fries at the Vermont Pub and Brewery (what could be better pre-hike fuel?), went home for a ninety-minute nap, and got on the road with Josh and Ali at 2:30 am. Once we'd arrived at the trailhead and Josh had changed out of his fuzzy slippers to hiking boots and we'd all donned our nerdy-looking headlamps, we headed out under the moonlight. An hour and forty-five minutes later we were sitting at the summit watching the transition from dawn to daylight and having a hard time believing it was still August -- it was SO cold at the top!
Although all three of my fellow hikers needed some prodding to get them in the car at 2:30 am, and I would say at that point I was their least-favorite person in the world, my star rose when the sun did. We all agreed that it really is a special thing to do a hike (especially on a special mountain) at night and watch the sun rise at the top. As is so often the case, some extra effort and willingness to try something new had major payoffs. I'd love to do it again sometime, and hope maybe more of my friends will want to come with me.
This was the third installment of the Camel's Hump-in-four-seasons New Thing. The last season, fall, will be a hike with my sister Katrinka and brother in law Brian, who are coming from Washington state with my niece Tigist in October. Since this weekend was a New Thing double-header, with a bicycling trip to Hero's Welcome as the other weekend activity, that entry will have a new language post and a full Coming Attractions post.