Sunday, July 3, 2011

#45 Mt. Garfield, August 14, 2010.

#45 Mt. Garfield via Garfield and Garfield Ridge trails, August 14, 2010. 

Mileage: 10 miles RT

Elevation gain:  3000'

Trailhead: Route 3 toward Twin Mountain; sign on right for Gale River dirt road  just before the Gale River. If you pass the first intersection there is another road intersection across the Gale River which is better marked

Lesson learned:  You never know when a busy work week will catch up to you.

This is such a popular peak that it seems odd that it would be one of my final NH 4ks. Perhaps I saved it for later as it has such a fine reputation.  

I hiked with Rich on this beautiful, warm day – blue skies in the high 70s.  

It may have been because I had heard Garfield was a kid-friendly hike (how hard could it be?) or just my overall near-end-of-summer attitude, but I underestimated the amount of effort it would take me to reach the summit.

I was sucking wind as soon as we hit the trail (much of which is the old road used to access the fire tower that used to be on the summit).  Rich, who usually complains that I start out too fast, was way ahead and here I was reaching forward gasping, "wait, wait up."  I had had a rough week at work and no chance to catch up on sleep or relax, perhaps that's why.  Yes. That's it. I blame work.

View from the summit of Garfield.
All of my effort was rewarded when we reached the summit and its breathtaking view. The summit was crowded; there were also lots of bugs too.

Leaning on the foundation of the old fire tower
The trip down was uneventful and this is definitely a hike I would do again, perhaps mid-week to avoid the crowds.  

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