Carpool Challenge, Field and Tom, 9.11.12

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.

Looking back at the junction of the Avalon and A-Z Trail junction. The white sign is new.

New location and possibly new sign at the Avalon summit spur. It had been on the broken tree in the foreground.

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.

Red mushroom. I saw several families of red mushrooms in various locations along the hike today.

From the smallest mushrooms to the biggest peaks, there’s always something to see! Here’s a nice photo of Washington and other Presidentials taken near the summit of Field.

Summit of Field, still there.

The sign near the summit of Field on the Willey Range Trail is missing from the tree on the right in the foreground of the photo. A blue blaze is visible down the corridor, though.

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.

Summit of Mt. Tom.

More fungus among us, on a log by the A-Z Trail descending to Crawford Notch.

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!

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2 thoughts on “Carpool Challenge, Field and Tom, 9.11.12

  1. Hi Summerset,

    Just a couple of quick comments. First of all, best wishes to Cameron for a speedy recovery to his leg injury!

    It’s good to see that there is now a trail sign in place at the A-Z and Avalon junction. Even though veteran hikers know where to go at this junction, it’s still nice to have a sign there. It’s sort of like you can drive your car with a missing side-view mirror, but it’s still nice to have it there!

    Lastly, it’s great to see that we share a love for the “fungus among us”. There is such a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

    John

  2. Thank you John for all the thoughtful comments. Cameron’s leg should be fine, but we’re waiting for him to completely finish the antibiotic, and see what happens. He had a good sized puncture wound which got infected; for the most part it is healed and he’s been active on in, including hiking.

    That missing sign bothered me, too, as this is a high tourist traffic area, and even veterans can get mixed up!

    The fungus is interesting, it is amazing that what we normally consider such a lowly species has such variety. My son knows that I’m always photographing the varieties I see, and would probably photograph more if it weren’t for him. I’ve got a nice guidebook that I use to try to identify the species, The Audubon Society Field Guide To North American Mushrooms. It is older (1981), but the full color photos and descriptions make it a good guide and easy to use.

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