Starr King Trail, 7.2 miles roundtrip, 2650 feet of elevation gain.
Last Sunday, we had the honor of accompanying Dan and Janelle (aka Buffalo and Tough Cookie) on their final 52 With a View hike. Dan's writing a book about their journeys -- it's called The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie and will be published by Bondclifff Books in May 2013.
Alex, Sage, and I carried fully loaded "Camino packs." This was our first time carrying everything we'll need on the Camino up and over a Four Thousand Footer.
Janelle and Dan, ready to go
Alex, Sage, and Janelle
Steve, one of Dan and Janelle's friends
Starting up the Starr King Trail
Here comes the snow...
Starr King trail never gets very steep, and, even in the snow and slush, it's a fairly easy 4K. Our hike was made a bit challenging, however, by the mischievous trees, who kept dumping their accumulated snow on our heads as we made our way up the mountain. I eventually insisted the girls wear their waterproof shells.
Taking a quick break
As we neared Starr King's summit, Dan and Janelle moved to the back of the line and Alex and Sage forged ahead. The girls and I wanted to reach the peak ahead of our friends so we could create an archway with the hiking poles. Folks approaching their last summit are supposed to walk under everyone else's poles -- it's hiker tradition.
Alex and Sage approaching Starr King's summit
Alex and Sage at the summit of Starr King
Janelle walking under the archway
Dan and Janelle finish the 52 With a View!
Sage, Janelle, and Alex
Dan, Sage, Janelle, Alex, and Steve
We hung about for a bit, congratulated Dan and Janelle, and ate some snacks. There were no views, as a lazy Cloud sat in front of the Presidential Range and refused to move. No matter, everyone was having a blast. Good times, good company.
Mt. Waumbek's summit is only a mile away from Starr King's, and the path is mellow and easy. Therefore, Janelle decided she wanted to go ahead and tag her first 4K. Off we went.
The summit of Mt. Waumbek! Here's Janelle, Sage, Alex, and my camera strap (sorry). This was Sage's second time and Alex's third time on Waumbek. Alex is now a bit more than halfway through her third round of the 4Ks.
Views from just beyond the summit.
We hung about, ate some more snacks, and headed back to Starr King.
When we returned to Starr King's summit, we found, to our delight, an absence of lazy Cloud.
View from Starr King's summit
Alex tempts a nearby gray jay
(The gray jay didn't take the bait.)
The ancient chimney is crumbling; part of it fell and landed on Sage's leg (she's fine).
Dan shows Janelle the Presidential Range
After some more eating and photo-taking, we headed down the mountain.
Alex, Janelle, and Sage, back at the snowless trailhead
Dan and Janelle, mission accomplished
Congratulations once again, Dan and Janelle! We look forward to reading your book!