It's a beautiful, blustery morning up top. The high yesterday reached 48 (!!!) degrees. The overnight low was 17 degrees. It was 22 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The mountain received no new precipitation and there is no snow remaining up top. I ran down Alum yesterday and there is no black ice or slick spots remaining. The trails are in great shape. Get out and enjoy this clear February day!
I had a great run down into town yesterday. The trails are in the kind of shape that reminds me of my departure in March, with the lingering scent of consistent dampness that just reeks of springtime. I even saw some daffodils sprouting up along Hwy 441... and a baby fawn! Fortunately for me, in spite of the springy scent and wildlife wanderings, I have about 3 more weeks remaining up top. I came back up around 4pm and it seemed like it was going to be hike to remember - the rain smelled so fragrant, falling in drops as big as those old Kennedy silver dollars and the clouds seemed to be swirling up high. I had a heavy pack full of supplies, so I took my time. After a break at Alum Cave, I hit the cloud ceiling and I was racing daylight to make it to the lodge. For the last two miles, I was convinced I was going to see the bear, little Dennis or maybe even some kind of Cherokee ghost I didn't know about. It was as eerie as I've ever seen, with the fog settling in so low that my nice fancy headlamp could barely allow me to see beyond footfalls. I got to the lodge at 6:20, shook off my sweaty shirt and stood on the porch. I looked out at camp, with my useless headlamp unable to penetrate the thick fog and felt like a majestic lighthouse along the Maine coast.
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