Nick and Miriam, who own the Inn, had an "Artists' Weekend",
so we were accompanied by some folks who were learning a bit about painting.
We spent Friday and Saturday evenings by the fireplace chatting after
returning from dinner.
But during the days, however, what would Your Webmaster,
Alex, Kathy, Randy, and Pam ever do with ourselves up there in the White
Mountains in the fall where the weather was supposed to be good?
On Saturday we decided to do the Tom/Field/Avalon loop from
the Highland Center in Crawford Notch. We stepped outside to sun and
clouds and reasonable temps, so we got the cars loaded and drove up Rte.
302...into pouring rain. We felt like this:
We figured that we'd just left somewhere that wasn't
raining, so we should return and hike nearby. Back to the Inn, then
back to Bear Notch Road and Table Mountain, a hill 1.9 miles off the
We got a bit of rain during our walk, but the rain eventually
stopped---for us, anyway. As if to apologize for having dampened our
day, the Hiking Gods smiled on us with the most stunning views of rain
showers rolling along the Kancamagus with the sun in the background.
Yes, "you had to be there."
So we thought we'd hang out and enjoy the view for a while.
There's no summit view on Table Mt. (the trail does not go to the summit),
but the view from the cliffs is just great.
After a good dinner and some time by the Inn's fireplace, we
all turned in for the night. Over breakfast on Sunday morning we
decided to "try again" for Tom/Field/Avalon. And this time
there were clouds, and it felt a little like rain, but the rain held off for
Field, Avalon, Tom
Your Webmaster hasn't done many 4000-footers over the past
few years, but he warmed up with Wildcat A as part of "Flags on the 48" in
September, so it was time to head up Mt. Tom...and over to Field and back
Avalon in a loop if there was time.
It was great to get up onto the ridge where these guys were
Yes, in addition to some gray jays, the ridge really is that
mossy with very dense woods. It's a wonderful walk to the summit of
Mt. Tom (4051').
The summit is wooded, and it looks like people camp up there
from time to time. If you hike this, note that the trail splits near
the summit--explore both trails for the different views!
Pam, Randy, and Gunnar made their way back to the Highland
Center from Mt. Tom, taking a side trip to the Beecher and Pearl Cascades:
Your Webmaster must check these out!
Kathy, Alex, and Your Webmaster decided to head over the
ridge to Mt. Field (4340') and then over Avalon to the Highland Center.
<-- Bretton Woods
Saco Lake with Mt. Pierce and Mt. Washington (in the clouds)
Crawford Notch from Avalon -->
It's rather steep from Field over Avalon and back down to
the intersection with the A-Z Trail. We made it back to the Highland
Center at dusk, just a few minutes before it became dark enough for us to
break out the headlamps.
This was a very nice weekend stay in the White Mountains,
and the Table Mt. and Tom/Field/Avalon hikes were enjoyed by all, even
Gunnar, who's still just a pup and is already a good companion out on the