With Cameron’s leg injury, we had to miss out on the trip to the Willey Range last weekend. He is getting better, but he’s calling the shots as to when he’ll be able to hike again and how much. I decided that for this week’s Carpool Challenge on Tuesday I would head to the Willey Range and visit Field and maybe Tom if I had the time.
I made the familiar drive up to Crawford Notch and when I got out of the car, I noted it was 46 degrees. That’s actually a pretty nice temperature for hiking, but I do need to start thinking about getting out the bigger pack and gradually increasing my pack weight so that I’ll be conditioned and ready for winter hiking. My plan was to hike up to Field first, via the Avalon Trail, hiking the steep stuff first, and then hiking across the Willey Range Trail to the A-Z Trail and the Mt. Tom Spur. I had a target time to reach Field and if I made it and was feeling good, I’d head over to Tom.
Along the way, I noticed that new signs had been put in place at the Avalon and A-Z junction and at the short spur trail to Avalon’s summit. The last time I was at these junctions (in April and February, respectively), some of the sign were gone or the trees that they had once been attached to were dead and broken. Since these trails are used by a variety of hikers, it was nice to see that the signs had been replaced this spring or summer.
The steep section went by pretty quickly, then the trail goes to a moderate grade. This portion of the trail always seems long to me, but I kept at it and upon arrival at Field, I checked my watch to see if I was going to go over to Tom. I beat my preset time by 15 minutes, so after a quick break, I headed over to Tom. As a side note, the old sign just beyond the summit of Field on the Willey Range Trail headed to Willey is gone, maybe it will be replaced soon.
The trip over was pretty easy and soon I was on the spur to Tom, and then at the summit and then to check out the outlook to Crawford Notch and beyond. Still making good time, I headed back down to Crawford Notch, checking out the fungus among us along the way. I tend to see the most variety in fungus at this time of year, and on today’s trip I saw fungus in purple, red, brown and beige.
Another quick trip, but I was thankful that I was able to visit two peaks, see things big and small, and enjoy the cooler, crisper air signalling that fall is just around the corner!