Sunday, October 17, 2010
10.4 Hike Camel's Hump in all four seasons -- Fall
Today was a big day in terms of New Things -- the last of four seasons of Camel's Hump hikes. The first was in winter with Conor, the second in spring with Will, and the third -- a moonlight/dawn summer hike -- was with Siham, Josh and Ali. Along the way, I did another winter hike on snow shoes with Ryan, Brigit and Alex, and two summer hikes with Gary and Chris respectively. But today officially closed out this new thing (though I'm ALWAYS up for another hike) when I got to do the long-awaited hike with my sister Katrinka and brother-in-law Brian (and I should do a quick shout-out to two of my fabulous students, Katie and Claire (pictured here with Tigist) for going above and beyond the call of duty as babysitters and being tagged by Tigist as her new "best friends" in the process).
I should have known that my beloved state would throw a weather-wrench in the works, and sure enough, though today was October 17, weather-wise it felt like winter. As you can see from the photo of Katrinka signing in, it started out deceptively. It was gray and overcast and then rainy, but as we kept climbing we heard from people coming down more and more ominous warnings of wet, heavy snow and nasty winds further up the trail. Soon people were reporting that they hadn't been able to see anything from the summit as they wrung out their completely soaked clothing.
So, the last Camel's Hump hike of the official four ended in abbreviated fashion, at the clearing a third of a mile from the top. As with so many other things in life, it was much more about the journey than the destination though, so it didn't really matter. The hike today was a wonderful reminder of any number of things -- the fact that I have phenomenal family members who were willing to fly from across the country to do the hike with me in the first place (as well as make sure that I was there for their daughter's birthday celebration -- the picture of me holding Tigist is from her birthday night); the fact that this hike was the last in a series of six others, all of which were special in their own ways and marked by unique friendships with a whole variety of people; and the fact that I live in an incredibly beautiful state where so many people get out and enjoy the mountains and the gorgeous forests that cover them.
I still want to do another post about the trip to Washington DC over Columbus Day weekend, and I'll be writing some details about some of the things coming up in that post. For now I'll just say there's some cool local-ish travel -- 24 hours without sleeping in New York City with Chris, and Quebec City with Siham and Leah in the works. And I think I've decided that, having travelled more than most people in the last year, I'm going to take the time that most people travel off. I think I'm going to observe Thanksgiving at home, by myself, doing one of the things on the list I've put off the most -- the day of doing nothing at all. I'll write up the details on all of these and a few other things in the next post.