Finally, summit day! It was dry – no sun really – but no rain. It had turned cooler, which was nice for the climb. I advised everyone to bring layers!!! Several Road Scholars decided not to join us and to do other things. I think it’s very smart to do that – takes real self-knowledge to opt out of a hike.
We climbed the Dublin Trail, which has a nice gradual beginning in the woods. It gets steeper after about a mile and then the scrambles begin. They are not too radical, however, and there are mostly ways around the rocks in the trees, so I think our hikers were happy to have that choice. Al came and helped review some of the tree, plant, and critter ID for us. Also, he could point out mountains from up top that you can see from the summit.
Just before the 2-mile mark, we get above the trees and the views were fabulous. With the cooler nights, the colors had progressed markedly. It was amazing. We got a few frozen sprinkles, but luckily this was very intermittent, and it never developed into actual rain or sleet. It was still a tough climb and as we approached the junction with the Marlboro Trail, one or two hikers expressed the desire to stop or go back. I took a poll and 4 people wanted to go down, so Yeti took that group and the rest of us continued up. A joyous group made it up, it was breezy but not too cold. We managed to stay up there fifteen or twenty minutes for a quick lunch before heading down. Congratulations, hikers!
We made it out just before 4pm – our goal. Coffee and snacks were a welcome treat in the van after the hike. It was nice to have time to take a shower before dinner. Those who chose not to hike with us to the summit had all found interesting things to do – visit Harrisville, hike at a state park, or do the covered bridges tour. There is so much in the area that all these options are terrific. We enjoyed another great dinner.
After dinner, Kevin Gardner gave a fabulous and energetic presentation on the history and methods of building stone walls in New England. As he spoke, he constructed a stone wall on the table with small rocks. It was spellbinding watching his nimble fingers flying around arranging the rocks just so. Everyone enjoyed him immensely. Have him back for more!!!