Monday, July 25, 2011

The Girls, the Pup, the Kilt, and Two Cheetahs. Eisenhower and Pierce, July 24, 2011.

Crawford Path, Mt. Eisenhower Loop, Edmands Path. 8.1 miles, 3100 feet elevation gain.

Hugh, the girls and I got a late start on this beautiful Sunday morning; the girls and I gave a talk at the Highland Center the night before and returned home fairly late Saturday night (the talk went well -- we met some new hiking families and I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces).

We rolled into the Crawford Path parking lot at about 9am. MadRiver was waiting for us. As always, it was good to see him.

As we geared up, a woman called my name. It was Alison from the Mt. Washington Observatory Forums; she had hiked Mt. Washington the day before and was now back on the trails for Pierce. She graciously offered to take the following picture.

The weather was perfect -- cool, clear, sunny. Up we went.

Alex took care of Max...

...while Hugh hiked with Sage.

We took a few goofy water breaks...

...and eventually reached the Alpine Zone.

We reached treeline in a jiffy -- did I mention the weather was perfect? Cool, clear, sunny -- and the views! We quickly ascended the last couple tenths of a mile to Pierce.

Max on Pierce...

Hugh set a running leg (Cheetah) on the cairn and posed with Sage and Alex. Eisenhower, Washington, and the northern Presidentials are in the background.

Sage's 25th 4k!

After a chocolate mint bread break, our group split up. Sage, MadRiver and I went on to tag Eisenhower while Hugh and Alex stayed behind on Pierce. Alex is in a local kids' production of Macbeth and had a lot of lines to learn before the end of the evening; her job was to stay on Pierce and memorize until we returned from Eisenhower. Hugh stayed with her to assist.


MadRiver and Sage...

Up the summit cone of Ike!

Sage's 26th 4K!

Views from the top.

MadRiver appreciating the gorgeousness of it all.

Sage taking a break.

We ate, drank, and rested for a while, but both Sage and Max continued to look like...well...the above. I therefore made an Executive Decision. I'd take Sage and Max down the Edmands Path instead of doubling back over Pierce; this would shave a mile and a half off our journey. MadRiver agreed to return to Pierce and tell Hugh and Alex to descend without us, then he'd go ahead of them, get his car, and pick up Sage and me at the other trailhead. I knew Hugh would be okay with this, so I gave MadRiver some of my water just in case Hugh needed to top off his own Nalgenes, then Sage, Max and I headed down.

Sage and Max perked up on the descent. Both got their second wind before we even got off the summit cone.

Down, down we went. I took one last look to the north before heading into the trees.

Once in the trees, Sage practically ran down the trail. There were two couples behind us when we started down Eisenhower and they never passed us by. We passed one man who remarked that my daughter was "quite the hiker." I asked Sage to slow down, but she told me she couldn't because, "the trail keeps pulling me downward, I have to hurry." I was never quite sure what that meant, but she was bright and chipper the whole time, so I didn't question it. Max's tail stayed up and wagging; he too seemed to have lost his former sense of fatigue.

Once at the trailhead for Edmands Path, Sage paused long enough for me to take this picture...

...than she began walking down the road toward the Crawford Path parking lot.

We walked for almost a mile before MadRiver arrived and gave us a ride back to our car. Once there, we said farewell to our friend and hiked back up the trail to Pierce for a few tenths of a mile. We waited for Hugh and Alex by a water crossing; they arrived about twenty minutes after Sage and I dipped our toes into the cool, clear water.

It was a lovely day for everyone. Hugh got to hang out with Alex for a couple of hours on Pierce on an absolutely gorgeous day, Sage got two more 4Ks, Max got a great walk and chewed a bunch of sticks (and also got two more 4Ks, but he doesn't care about such things), I got to hike with MadRiver again, and Alex learned all her lines.

'Twas a pleasure seeing Alison again. It was also nice to meet Walter, the nice fellow on Eisenhower, and the friendly couple from New York.

Next week, we'll do an overnight with another family. Should be a blast, I'm looking forward to it.


Karl said...


Great trip report and sounds like you guys all had a lovely day! Glad you were able to modify your plans and head down the Edmond's Path to accommodate both of the children. The views look phenominal from both peaks, especially in those blue skies. I hope to do Peirce and Eisenhower some day!

What is Alex's role in Macbeth? I used to love that play when I was a kid! I can't think of a better place to learn lines than on top of Pierce!

Congrats to Sage on number 25 & 26!


Anonymous said...

Thanks again for a fun hike.

Patricia Ellis Herr said...

Thanks, Karl and Anonymous!

Karl, we did have a nice day, thanks. You will LOVE Pierce and Eisenhower whenever you do them. Great peaks, there's a lot of bang for the buck.

Sage could have made it back over Pierce and down if she had to, but I'm glad she didn't have to. I like to keep things as enjoyable as possible for everyone :)

Alex is Malcolm, modified to Lady Malcolm since there are more girls than boys in the production. She enjoys the experience very much. The company is Advice to the Players in Sandwich, NH -- great organization.