Hiking Waumbek 11/14/09

Sick of sitting around getting fatter while waiting for the snow to fall, I was happy to have been invited hiking by some old friends today.  I went with My brother in law Jeremy, my friend Clif and Clif’s father, as well as my friend, Paul. 
The original plan was to hike mt cabot today.  Jeremy and Clif still needed it for there 48 4000′ list and it had been a long time for me since I had been up there with out snow. Paul was my best friends dad growing up, and the person that instilled in me outdoor ideals that so much make me who I am today. He was out on a 4k for the first time this season since an injury last winter and following operations over the spring and summer.  He said this is the longest hes ever went between 4k hikes.  Paul now has 10 complete circuits of the 48 4k list and is working on his 11th!!!
When we got to Heaths Gate at the head of the Mount Cabot Trail there was a whole bunch of new signs posting the trail as closed, no tresspassing, keep out, violators will be prosecuted.  As you know I’ve been using this closed trail for years, but it seems that the land owner had now stepped up his efforts to keep people out. If it were me alone I would have said screw it and gone, but there were just to many of us in broad daylight to take the chance of legal action.  With waumbek being only a few miles away we decided to climb that instead.  Jeremy still needed it for his list, and we didnt want to push Paul to much with him being only 5 weeks away from his last surgery. 
It was crazy to be that far north this late in the season and not have any snow above 4000 feet yet.We all had rain gear, but hardly had to use it.  The heavy rains did not reach that far north until just about the time we were done our hike.
Hiking up Waumbek:

Wildlife on the way:
Spruce Grouse:

Grey Jay:

When we were near the top of Starr King Paul showed us a secret bench he and his other son built a few years back when they were staying up here.  Its has a really nice view from it.

We continued on to the summit of Waumbek. It was now starting to rain a little and we noticed it was actually getting warmer the higher we went..

This is only the second time I’ve been up here, but theres a few little novelty things I’m doing for my second circuit, one is I’m taking a self portrait, and the other is I’m picking up a small flat rock and writing the summit name on it with a Sharpie and taking it home.  I Think it will be neat to maybe make a coffee table or something when I have all 48 rocks.
Summit Self portrait:

We had left home around for this trip at 4:30 am so, we got back to the car pretty early and made it back home to southern NH before dark.  It really was nice to get out with such good friends and have nice laid back hike.  This falls been pretty crappy for me and the mental health day was much needed and appreciated.
Its amazing how something so simple as just puting one foot in front of the other until you reach a tangible goal can make you feel so much better.

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