Carpool Challenge: Jackson, 10.11.11

With a beautiful weather forecast and some free time on Tuesday, it looked like a good day for a carpool challenge.  I chose Jackson because I hadn’t visited there since New Year’s Day this year or the summer previous.  The New Year’s Day visit wasn’t the most delightful summit experience I’ve ever had, either, with the ice, fog, wind and precipitation.  I actually canceled my plans of continuing to hiking over to Pierce and just descended back to the car.  Luckily for me, on the descent I ran into an old friend, Denise Spoor, so it turned out to be a nice hike after all.   Tuesday’s weather looked liked it might be a better summit experience, so I headed up to Crawford Notch to hike up the Webster-Jackson Trail.

Nice color and Mt. Tom across the street from the Webster-Jackson Trail.

With only one car in the lot when I arrived, I didn’t anticipate seeing anyone along the way, but as I hiked up, I noticed someone’s boot prints on the rocks.  Looked like only one person, bigger than me and no canine companion.

Morning sunshine at the split of the Wester-Jackson Trail.

I finally caught up with the gentleman a little more than halfway up Jackson branch of the Webster-Jackson Trail.    I found he was from Maine and 77 years old and still hiking, and in fact, had hiked Adams a few weeks ago!  Isn’t that great? I hope I’m still hiking when I’m 77!  After a nice chat, he let me pass and I continued on up to the summit.

Upon arriving at the summit, the views I was fortunate to have were really amazing.  It is hard to put into words the beauty of the ever changing seasons here in New Hampshire.  There was just ridge after ridge of fall color contrasted with the larger ridges of evergreens and bare rock.  The color was certainly more vibrant than last week’s trip to Willey.

Mt. Washington amidst the evergreens and rocks.

View back towards Bretton Woods with the Mt. Washington Hotel at the far right.

Panorama of the view across the 302 from Jackson.

I took my pictures, ate my snack and was at the Webster Cliff and Webster-Jackson Trail junction when the gentleman from Maine came up the ledges.  I encouraged him to come up and turn around to see the view (when you come up the ledges on Jackson, some of the views are actually behind you).  As he turned, it was fun to watch the look on his face as he took in the scenery laid out before us.  He had been to Jackson in every month of the year, so these views weren’t exactly new, but the delight on his face was as if the views were brand new.  We stood there for a few moments and picked out as many peaks as we could in all directions, including many in Vermont.

We had already chatted about the carpool situation, so after enjoying the views together for a few moments, I wished him a great hike for the rest of the day and headed down for the descent.  I made good time to the bottom, passing quite a few groups and enjoying the beautiful fall woods along the way.

Small, pretty stream on the way back down to the car.

Even though this was a quick hike, it was a great day with blessing and inspiration to be found not only in the scenery, but in meeting an older gentleman who is still out hiking and enjoying the mountains.

Brilliant fall leaves. I took this photo from my car, while waiting for construction south of Twin Mtn. on Rt. 3.


3 thoughts on “Carpool Challenge: Jackson, 10.11.11

  1. Sounds like a great hike. I hope I’m hiking at the age of 77 too, but I don’t think we’re all in that good of shape to last that long! I think Jackson is one of my favorite views from the southern Presidentials. Great trip report.

    Summerset, have you thought about tackling Trailwrights since you’re doing all these carpool challenges? It might be something to think about.

    Nice job!

  2. Hi Summerset, it will likely not come as a surprise to learn that I agree with your sentiment you stated, i.e. “It is hard to put into words the beauty of the ever changing seasons here in New Hampshire.”

    Also, I must compliment you on your multi-tasking/time management skills! I’m referring to your ability to work in some terrific hikes within the time limitations of your “car-pool challenge + doing other things like snapping photos of autumn foliage while stuck in a road construction delay!


  3. Karl – Hmm . . Trailwrights. Well, I have hiked quite a few of the peaks on the list individually, but I’d have to go back and rehike others (that’s not a bad thing!). I do have 13 hours of trailwork done already, so maybe that’s something I should consider! The carpool challenges are more of a time constraint thing, so I can’t do anything over about 7 miles, 2700 ft. elev. gain on the ascent, and nothing farther than 90 minutes from home.

    John – Thanks regarding the multi-tasking skills! Because of my previous job (high school science teacher), I’m pretty good at juggling quite a few things at once. I’ve also learned that any time spent sitting waiting could be used to do something creative, hence the photo from the car. I’ve made it a point to keep the camera in the car and not the trunk, as more than once I’ve had to get out and get the camera out of the trunk to take pictures of moose. You never know what you’ll see on the ride to or from the trailhead!

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