Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mount Lafayette

My head is a constant cascade of thoughts. All the information is trying to get through at once; of even worse, it’s like watching TV while someone else is flipping through the channels with a remote. Have this issue, friends? Take an tough hike and the remote along with the TV goes out the window.
Start up falling waters trail to little haystack – across the ridge breaking the 5,000’ mark to Mt. Lincoln, then up to the prize: Mount Lafayette. This is a loop, so back down the Greenleaf trail to overnight at Greenleaf Hut, then back down the trail to the lot – a triangular circuit.

There is a section of the trail called the switchbacks (I stand to be corrected). On Saturday we had an impossibly hard time on them because of the packed snow. This was the hardest point – sweating like a pig, sliding my way up. People called the conditions “monorail” since it was like going up a 7-11 Slurpee coated balance beam. 100 feet then stop, mop myself off and catch my wind, repeat. It seemed to last forever. It didn’t though; we ascended through the tree line and shade with kept the snow from melting even into May. Then things got pretty real fast.
See? Trudge through the BS, sooner or later you’ll emerge into a clearer way in the sun. The first of many “oooooh – deep” revelations that came my way during the hike.
The Summit - what can I say? We made it, time to take a load off, kick back, inhale, exhale, and dig the view. What does the summit do for you?
The pictures do it no justice; you are on the roof of New England. I know Mt Washington is higher & tougher, but at 5,240’, you’re up there.

Greenleaf Hut! – a regional gem – don’t miss it.
The Ritz it aint, but that’s the point. They have potable water, bunks, stoves, toilets, and the nicest staff all for $29. No need to schlep tents, extra gear, or gallons of water. Thanks folks – I hope it isn’t another 35 years. The hut is more like a barracks, and it’s wind & solar powered.

Takeaways – basic stuff we forget:
Hang loose – I worry too much
Take a trip, a real trip proably the carribean this fall – early November. Any ideas or recommendations? Puerto Rico? Barbados? BVI? Anyone?
Don’t feel sorry for yourself – it’s unattractive. I have a pretty damned charmed existence and many good years ahead.
I’m no Rhodes Scholar, but hell I made it this far, I’m OK.
Tired, discouraged and the trail sucks? Plug away you’ll break through the tree line, the work’s not over, but the ridge trail is amazing, and the rough part is behind.
Is this a temporary buzz that will wear off? Or was it a soul journey - like in Kung Fu when the young Grasshopper became Kane? Who knows? One thing is certain, up there it’s scary how simple solutions to hang ups become. All pop psychology aside, it’s gorgeous up there and I’ll be baaaaack.