In the instant you leave far behind all human relation, wife, mother and child, and live only with the savages - water, air, light, carbon, lime and granite... I become a moist cold element. Nature grows over me. Frogs pipe; waters far off tinkle; dry leaves hiss; grass bends and rustles; and I have died out of the human world and come to feel a strange, cold, aqueous terraqueous, aerial etherial sympathy and existence. I sow the sun and moon for seeds. Emerson
The high yesterday reached 32 degrees. It was 31 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The low was 9 degrees yesterday morning. It warmed up throughout the day and continued to do so overnight. The mountain received no new precipitation. There are 5 inches of snow on the ground up top. The trails are in pretty good shape. There's enough snow on the ground to give you some purchase and make traction devices unnecessary. Be sure to factor in that it takes a bit longer to hike in the snow. Footing is worse and you're unable to make the quick progress you're accustomed to on clear trails. Turn around at 3pm if you aren't up top, unless you have a headlamp and enjoy night hiking!
Top: Panorama from Alum Cave Trail. Above: West Point.
It's another beautiful morning up top. I just came back from sunrise reverie with my dear friend First Man. We looked out upon the sky of purple, orange and pink fire marvelling at the universe at our feet. It's impossible to look at those mountains and not feel the tug of sweet sentiments, having hiked their length from Springer to Katahdin nearly 3 years ago. We're blessed to have such fulfilling memories... the only thing sweeter is the fact that we have a lifetime of such blissful adventures ahead of us.
A big thank you to Mark Bengel of Florence, KY for bringing me a set of fantastic new wool socks from Red Wing Shoes. Happy feet make a happy caretaker!