Well for starters I got this. It is essentially a Beach sticker for the woods. When you come up here and hike or use a day area for a picnic there are these kiosks that say fill out this envelope and put in $3. We did it when we visited the Lower Falls for example. Today for $20 I got a sticker that allows me to park anywhere in the National Forest for a year. Just made sense and because it was a weekday they were open.
PS she also asked where I was hiking today and because I didn't need it she dated it tomorrow which is another month.
For today's hike I parked at Waterville Valley Ski Resort because funny enough the trailhead is across from parking lot 1. I am not sure how this works in the Winter when the ski resort is in full swing because the other end of the trail comes out on Tripoli Road which said closed November to May I think.
In the beginning I was greeted by this beautiful stream. I soon learned how dry it is up here though as there would be what looked like streams or run-offs that were all dry. Happy to have water on board.
I loved this trail for a while. It is all woods and covered in green moss and mushrooms. It was like an enchanted forest almost.
See I chose this mountain because I was worried about time and wanted something short. I guess I didn't equate 4000 footer in 2.5 miles being an issue.
And then the stone steps started.
A couple times I thought.... What does a heart attack feel like again?!?!
I will add photos but understand they will do it no justice. Also note I think I will post 2 but multiply that by 10 for the total number of steps. I would say a miles worth.
This first one is a brook crossing and the first steps. Looks all romantic doesn't it?
And then the wicked witch waved her wand and those steps never stopped. Like a stairway to Hell.
Okay all kidding aside.
Finally I saw the blue hazy mountains behind me as I got closer to the top and the trees opened up and I laughed. Oh, there you are.
Always just when you think why do I do this? Mother Nature comes and kisses you gently and you forget the pain and your heart sings.
At a split in the trail I went blue, no clue why but it was the blue trail that afforded me the mountain views. I didn't take pictures because with the trees you wouldn't have seen what I saw and quite frankly that is the case most of the time. The photos don't even begin to show the beauty so I just hold those views in my head. If you want to see them then climb the stairs yourself. :)
The Summit, no matter how bland, needs to be documented with respect. Even a shameful selfie to show I was there.
I climbed my 4th 4000 footer today. Here's my proof. What is that 1/12 done? Sure, let's stay positive.
From the summit there was a small (.8 mile I think) trail that took me over to the top of the ski trails. It had a few little openings with views. This particular one had a huge bench that your feet would have swung from and you could stare at the sky forever.
I was still too cold as up here as the wind was whipping thru the trees so I marched on.
Ok so I saw the sign but I also saw no one around to police the sign. I had read some people took the ski trails down.
Awe what the hell!
WHAT THE HOLY FUCKING HELL!!
For any of you that actually strap on waxed sticks of death and ride them down these hills- You are crazy!
And why weren't the lifts working??
I really could have used a ride back down.
With the angle of the sun this photo stinks but I just wish you could see how huge this looks from the bottom.
Not sure I made the best choice in decent.
On a happier note, here is where I got a nice hot shower and will be sleeping tonight. It is very clean, has 3 floors, 2 kitchens and 3 bathrooms. Luckily I was even able to secure a bottom bunk. There are 2 more sets of bunks in this room and so far just 1 couple from Montreal are here. Upstairs must be busy because there are about 7-8 cars in the lot. I know there are 2 rooms on the 3rd floor with about 8 single beds each. The 2nd floor has a big kitchen, living room and dining room with a hiker store. There are also 2 single bedrooms on this floor I believe.
Sounds crazy but the house is big. It's also cheap and I feel safe. There are lockers for your stuff too.
They take care of AT hikers too. Packages are in a trunk out front for thru-hikers who sent their resupply, they offer cheap rates to them and shuttle back to trailheads if needed. This Summer they asked people to donate slack packs. Now the boot room is full of packs, clothes and flip flops. Slack packs are used if you want to lighten you load and leap frog a bit. I believe I read the owners have thru-hiked the AT as well.
Great place to stay!! Look them up-Notch Hostel. ( I can't link today as I'm on my cell)
Tomorrow looks like rain but I found the Osceola Trailhead parking and I will go as slow as needed.