Sunday, August 5, 2012

One Empyrean Moment

... made a long soggy day all worthwhile:

Sunday, July 29th, 2012:

That's Mount Madison, with the north side of Gorham (along NH 16) in the valley below, taken from the slopes of Cascade Mountain.  When I emerged at this vista point, this view nearly took my breath away.

It had been cloudy all day.  I got rained on heavily for an hour.  I hiked twelve long hours, accomplishing nine miles of AT going both ways, passing over three summits and passing by many vista points, most of which were socked in with fog.  But late in the day the weather finally began to improve.  The sun even came out for a little while.  And there it was ... that golden opportunity for a memorable view.

You know I'm a weather nut.  So when the weather manages to enhance a view, it's special to me.  Here a wreath of billowing clouds, kissed by the late afternoon sun, turns Mount Madison into the mythological Mount Olympus.  Gods, I love this shot!

The trail was fairly easy today.  It tried to mimic the Whites but couldn't muster the chutzpah of the great ones.  The highest elevation I reached was only 2790 feet.  There were some steep climbs but they didn't last, a few very tough, very slippery slabs of steep rain-soaked bedrock with no footing, but only in short bits - nothing sustained.

I hiked all of the Centennial Trail, up from Gorham, then hit the Mahoosuc Trail, which I'll follow for several days.  And I went past two ponds.  The second, Dream Lake, was my turn-around.  Somehow the name and this view match - with the wisps of foggy mist turning it into a surreal dreamscape:

But Page Pond was better - love those blooming water lilies:

My poncho and the spare socks I carry kept me reasonably comfortable through the long day.  Thank the Greek Gods that it didn't rain longer (it could hardly have rained heavier).


Here's the map of today's route and a link to more photos:

AT Day 190 - Cascade Mountain at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find trail maps for California and beyond


  1. I've been up to Dream Lake a number of times but have never seen that memorial. Thank you!

    Also, your "Mt. Mitchell" is, I believe, Mt. Madison.
    -Nancy (Upper Goose Pond)

  2. Thanks, Nancy. I've made the correction. Great to hear from you again. Loving it here in your 'neck of the woods'.