Weather looked good this morning: clearer and cool – never got beyond the 60s. Al Stoops joined us for Summit day. The route would be via the Dublin Trail. The Dublin Trail goes from the north side of the mountain and is about 2.4 miles long one way; so, 4.8 approximately round trip
The Dublin Trail starts out moderately climbing through forest. We stopped frequently to check out the mosses, plants and trees that Al was pointing out. Some new ones that I learned: princess moss and wild cucumber. Familiar plants included: bunch berry, choke berry shrub, star flower, Canada Mayflower, and violets, white and blue, as well as club moss. Significant trees in northeast forest include Striped Maple, Sugar Maple, Paper Birch, Yellow Birch and White Pine.
We took a snack break part way up the mountain to give us energy for the climb. The trail begins to steepen, and rock scrambles start. The group continued up, up until we started to get into the shorter, scrubbier trees. Al found a vernal pool with salamander eggs – oh my, they were gooey looking like a pile of jello! Soon, we made Jim’s junction where the Marlboro Trail joins ours and from here, we were on open granite, climbing all the way to the summit.
The group made it in three hours. It was a wonderful day up top: sunny, not too windy, and with pretty good visibility. The views were quite good and unbelievably we could see the Boston sky-line. Al helped point out some near-by and distant mountains including Gap Mt. and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the west. We had lunch on the summit, took a group shot, and then headed down.
We proceeded down Monadnock, feeling great that we’d all made it up and down. Great hiking, great group, kudos to all!