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.
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.
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.
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.
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.