Pierce on Pierce, a 40th Birthday Hike 9.19.11

I chose to hike Pierce on my 40th birthday, because I just couldn’t resist the strange play on names as my maiden name is Pierce.   The original plan was to do a loop hike over Jackson and Pierce, since I had arranged not to have to drive the carpool.  As luck would have it, as I was heading out I got a phone call and needed to drive the carpool.  So, I decided to just hike Pierce and turn it into a Carpool Challenge.

With Plan B and great weather forecast, I headed up to Crawford Notch.  As I drove up, the skies were clear and beautiful and I could see all the peaks in Franconia Notch and the Presidentials, including Washington.  I pulled into the Mt. Clinton Road parking lot, got out and started up the trail at a quick pace.  Not only was this a Carpool Challenge, but it was also the first day of fall, and the temperatures felt like it – I needed to warm up!

Warming up, I quickly crossed the Crawford Connector and was on my way up the Crawford Path.  I took a quick side trip to see Gibbs Falls, as the water seemed a bit louder than other times I had been on the Crawford Path.  In reality, the sound probably wasn’t louder, but being myself in the quiet morning woods made it seem louder.

Gibbs Falls, very pretty and not too far up the Crawford Path.

Morning sunshine on the Crawford Path.

I continued up the path, meeting a few small groups along the way and taking a quick break at the Mizpah Cutoff for a snack.  After that I quickly arrived at the junction of the Crawford Path and Webster Cliff Trail.  The last time I was at this junction was last winter, and the sign was mostly in the snow pack, as seen in this post.

Sign at the junction of the Crawford Path and Webster Cliff Trail.

Within just a few minutes of turning onto the Webster Cliff Trail, I was at the summit, enjoying the views and the lovely weather.  While on the summit sending out my “I made it to the summit at such-and-such time” email to my husband, I got an email from my dad wishing me a happy birthday – fitting for a Pierce to get an email from a Pierce while on Pierce.

At the summit marker.

Up the Webster Cliff Trail to the summit of Pierce.

Washington and other Presidentials from Pierce.

After enjoying the summit and the views, I set off down Webster Cliff trail to Mizpah Hut.  I had never been on that section of trail and I knew I had plenty of time to descend to the hut and then back to Crawford Path.  It was a neat section of trail, with some nice variety even though it is less than a mile between the summit of Pierce and Mizpah Hut. After a quick stop to check my water supply, I headed down the Mizpah Cutoff and Crawford Path back to the car.

A pretty, mossy section of the Mizpah Cutoff Trail.

Little cascade on the Gibbs Brook.

What a great day to hike!  The temperatures were nice and cool, the views were good, and yes, I did the loop quickly enough to come home, get cleaned up and pick up the kids at school!


2 thoughts on “Pierce on Pierce, a 40th Birthday Hike 9.19.11

  1. Summerset, I loved the title of your report! It was so penetrating, and to the point! Of course, I guess that is what “piercing” is all about?! 🙂

    Seriously, I loved your report, and your photo entitled “Washington and other Presidentials from Pierce” is a gem!


  2. Thanks, John! That photo is one of my favorites, too. The vegetation is at the end of the season and is now turning shades of purple and brown, which give another dimension to the mountains.

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