Bald Rock on Cliff Walk

Excitement in the air as it’s sunny and promises to be a terrific day for our Cliff Walk adventure. First, yoga, breakfast next, pack up lunches and GO! We got a bit of an earlier start and with our helper Al Stoops in tow drove to the park headquarters, which is the starting location of the Parker Trail. The trail is an easy-going and gentle climb in the woods leading to the beginning of the Cliff Walk. Al, who knows the mountain as well as a lot about flora and fauna, hunted salamanders and showed us a new brown variety (not the bright orange EFT) that likes to live under decomposing logs.

At the junction of the Cliff Walk trail, our route starts climbing steeply and soon comes to a stout ladder leading up a steep rock face. Al and I traded places at the front and middle of the group and Joe was the all-important sweep. Because many had different hiking speeds, we got a bit spread out but the front group always waited at key outlooks or bends in the trail for all to catch up.

Over rocks, up ledges, through the woods we went. Great views from rock ledges dazzled us as we made our way towards Bald Rock. Features along the way included Hello Rock, Thoreau’s Seat, various trail intersections, Wolf’s Den and an abandoned mine. Our hike ended at Bald Rock where you get an amazing view of Mt. Monadnock and surrounding hills and mountains, like the Packs. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. We had a nice lunch and took a group photo; Ed did a nice job herding us together and using his timer on his camera! And, he didn’t even fall down as he raced to join us for the photo! Nice going, Ed.

Our way down was via the Lost Farm Trail, which was a bit gentler and didn’t have the rocky ledges to negotiate. We returned to Pilgrim Pines psyched by our accomplishment. I was proud that everyone made it and that in spite of some trepidation by one or two who were less experienced, they overcame any fear of the rocks and did it! Bravo to us all!

We missed Win and Lauren who did not accompany us on this hike. We had another great meal – ho hum isn’t that tedious that I have nothing but boring praise and more praise for the meals!

Tonight the “entertainment” was me! I gave my Pacific Northwest Trail presentation in the chapel. It’s still one of my favorite treks. Hope all enjoyed it. I like to promote the trail; it’s a beauty.

Unfortunately, Win had been feeling crummy all day and Joan, a PA, convinced her to go to the emergency room in Keene, where they checked her in to the hospital. We were all concerned about Win, especially her “partner in crime” Dawn.

More cookies….yum.