Rare Wilderness Sighting on Mt. Tom! 4.25.12

Did I see an white moose?  No.  Did I catch a glimpse of that rara avis, the Pink Peep?  No.  Even rarer than these creatures was seeing my daughter on the trail!   My daughter has not hiked in two years by her own choice.  She did shorter hikes with us when she was younger and two years ago, we started working on 4K’s, doing Jackson, Pierce and Ike.   After Ike, she decided she didn’t like hiking and didn’t want to go anymore.  That was fine with me, and I didn’t push her, instead I worked around her, taking her brother when I could and doing other activities that she enjoyed with her.  Recently she decided she wanted to try working on the 4K list again and asked if she could go to Mt. Tom.  Tom isn’t too long, has some interesting terrain and only one steep section, so it was a reasonable choice.  We found a nice day this week and went up to Crawford Notch.

At Crawford's, headed toward the Avalon Trail.

Ready to go!

I knew Mt. Tom would also have enough attractions for her.  She likes waterfalls, and Beecher and Pearl Cascades were our first stop on the way up.  With the recent rain, the cascades were full and beautiful.

Beecher Cascades, flowing well today.

Perspective photo of Beecher Cascades. My daughter is on the ledge to the right, packing up after taking some photos.

Pearl Cascades and the pool below.

After a stop there for photos, we headed up the trail with her in the lead, moving at a comfortable pace for her.  While not fast, she made progress and sooner than I thought, we were at the A-Z Trail junction.

Break time at the Avalon and A-Z trail junction.

After a break and a snack, we were on to the next challenge, the steeper mile between the A-Z junction and the Mt. Tom Spur.  While this is not an easy section, I knew it would be good for her to try to see if she really wanted to continue working on the list.  I also knew that the Mt. Tom spur wasn’t too difficult so that it would be a nice break.  She did a good job, not too fast a pace and after a nice break at the Mt. Tom Spur, we headed toward the summit.  Meanwhile, we encountered some ice and monorail on the trail, so she also had to learn how to deal with those items, too.

Just starting to encounter some ice.

Icicles on the Mt. Tom spur trail.

A little while later, we made the left turn and headed to the summit cairn.  After a smmit photo, we took a peek out to the Pemi Wilderness and were even able to see Zealand Hut and Zealand Falls.

At the summit, #4. Only 44 more to go!

Zoomed in shot of Zealand Falls and Zealand Hut from the summit area of Mt. Tom.

Heading over to the viewpoint, we were rewarded with a clear Mt. Washington and southern Presidentials.  Given the wind speed and the clouds racing by all day, we were very fortunate to have such a nice view.

Mt. Washington, out of the clouds at the moment this photo was taken.

Getting a bit cold, we agreed it was time to start to descend.  She was amazed at how quickly we came back to the A-Z Trail.  It always seems faster on the way back!  She did a great job using her poles to descend and recross all the streams and get back to the car.

She did a great job – although she wasn’t super fast, she was steady and did get to the summit and back.  She said she had a good time and was happy that her pack wasn’t nearly as heavy as her school backpack!  The question now is will she continue to hike or not?  Well, she’s already planning a trip to Moosilauke in a few weeks, so it looks like we might have another hiker in the house.


3 thoughts on “Rare Wilderness Sighting on Mt. Tom! 4.25.12

  1. Awesome. I’ve been working on getting my children into hiking, as well. We had some good experiences last year (including their first 4000′). Hopefully, they (& your daughter) will want to keep going.

  2. What a thoroughly entertaining report! I think Mom and daughter had a delightful hike! The “break time” photo at the Avalon/A-Z trail junction is precious! I’ll keep fingers crossed that this “wilderness sighting” becomes an occurrence that soon loses its rarity!


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