Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tom, Field, & Avalon - 5/30/15

After just a couple hours of restless napping in my front seat at the end of Haystack Road (after a 17 mile Twins, Zealand, Hale Loop), I headed over to Crawford Depot around 5:00am to wait for my brother and niece to arrive.  I had plenty of time to re-set-up my pack, lighten it, and have my coffee and a muffin.

It was a nice warm day, and we got started around 8:00am. It was exciting for me to be headed up to Mt. Tom to close out May at a nice easy pace and being with my niece and brother. She was also excited, as this would be her 6th and 7th 4,000-footers.
Crossing Crawford Brook
Heading up the A-Z Trail to Mt. Tom Spur
Niece is starting to get stronger as hike goes on
It wasn't as busy as we thought it would be for a Saturday in Crawford Notch, which was nice. There were several people out, but it was still peaceful.  After a nice break at the Tom Spur, we started to head up the last half mile to Tom.  Along the way, an eager pair of gray jays caught our attention on the trail.  Being so eager, I quickly grabbed some Vienna Fingers to set up my niece for her first gray jay experience.  It was awesome, and they were nice sized ones. She was so amazed!

Kiara's Gray Jay
Bill feeds it too...
Then I now that its fat and happy, we moved on.
After the excitement, we pushed on up to the summit. It was a bit funny to see the slight disappointment in my niece of the views from the summit, but we quickly moved over to the viewpoint to take it in.
The moment you reach the summit of Mt. Tom lol. 
The view is actually quite nice into the Pemi Wilderness 
Happy and proud Uncle with my niece on our 6th 4K together 
After Mt. Tom, Kiara flew in the lead the almost 1 mile to Mt. Field and it felt like we were there in just a few short minutes to some really great views from Field.
View from Mt. Field. Mt. Washington Hotel below 
Mt. Field Summit 
Flying down the Avalon Trail
Continuing on, we descended the steep Avalon Trail to Mt. Avalon. The views were great, and I particularly liked this view below looking back at Mt. Tom and Field, which I had not seen before. 

Mt. Field (left) and Mt. Tom (right) from Avalon
Pearl Cascade 
We took a few minutes at the end to dip our feet in the numbing waters below Pearl Cascade.  Bill and I did this when we hiked Field and Willey in May back in 2011 during our first round.  That was the reason I only needed Mt. Tom on this hike for May. She was also excited about how cold the water was, and being able to dip the feet. Such a fun day and I can't wait to have her join me on some more 4Ks!
Ending of a beautiful morning in Crawford Notch
Tom - 11th Round, #48 in the month of May
Field - 11th Round
Avalon - Only my 3rd time. Hazy but nice views of Crawford Notch and Mt. Webster.
Still have never hiked Mt. Willard...someday.

Trail Conditions:
The trails on this hike were in fine condition and mostly dry. One tiny snow patch remained on the whole hike on the A-Z Trail. The gray jays were out, as well as the midges (flies) which found us when we stopped.  They will only get worse for a period of time into June, so bring a bug net if you are easily driven to insanity.
This was the ONLY snow patch remaining! Woo-Hoo!!!!! 
Fun trail!
Hike Stats
Trails: A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, Willey Range Trail, Avalon Trail
Distance: 7.45 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,019 ft.
Actual Book Time: 5:20
Garmin Adventure Not Available
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