The ancestral Clauson estate.
"Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it!" No one told me Vanilla Ice was leading this expedition.
Awww. You make a compelling case, but bipeds only on this trip.
The social atmosphere was nicest when we were still speaking to each other.
The photo-snapping absurdity peaked with photos of photo-snapping.
4.6 miles? No problem, like a walk in the park. Heh heh. Sucker.
Kley takes decisive action and the hike offically begins at 2:32 PM.
Our first peek above the treeline, not to be confused with our first peak above the treeline.
Arrival at Galehead Hut.
The accommodations.
Oh boy, are we ever happy to no longer be on that damned trail!
Not only was Cameron, the resident naturalist, adorable and blonde, she came with a portable white board, dry erase marker, AND Carhartts. Needless to say, I was smitten.
The resident ornithologist (out of the picture to the right) knew some awesome Bicknell's Thrush jokes.
While Kev and Juliette were checking out the sunset, I found myself wondering who Juliette mugged to get those socks.
Hiking gear drying in the setting sun.
The light at sunset produced the most incredible colors. This is a washed out, dim representation.
Fading daylight.
Night coming on, but not time for the Milky Way quite yet.
Good morning Galehead, and perhaps a bit of bedhead.
Never mind that I'm in possibly the most beautiful spot in North America, what's really important is that I check my voice mail RIGHT NOW! (Seriously, he's checking his voice mail.)
Kev being Kev.
All 11 members of our 10 member party ready to bag Garfield and Lafayette.
You call that a trail? What's with all the rocks?
Oh yeah, that's much better. Good job, guys.
Juliette was undoubtedly well-served by adopting more serious socks.
Not quite lupins, but they'll do in a pinch.
Bear food.
Wait, I'm supposed to walk to the top of THAT?
Trying to figure out how he got talked into this nonsense.
Dazed, and just happy to have something to hold onto.
This photo of a placid mountain stream was actually ruined by too much light, not a problem we often have in NYC. Since the photos don't really do them justice, you'll have to take my word the light and colors were really quite incredible.
We arrive at the summit of Mt. Garfield! (You know I'm the real deal because I say summit instead of top.)
Nothing but the most incredible views as far as the eye can see.
The views, vistas, and tableaux just keep comin'.
However, there were those in our party who were skeptical.
There are times when throttling your competition for the last brownie is a sensible strategy.
And then there were those who were just plain done in by the hard work of eating all that lunch.
Ha ha, good joke. No, seriously, where's Mt. Lafayette? 'Cause I'm not climbing to the top of Everest or whatever you call that thing in front of us.
It was at this exact spot when I first considered lying down on the side of the trail and simply giving up.
The last 0.8 miles to the top of Mt. Lafayette inspired the famous phrase in the movie Unforgiven: "And not gentle like before."
However, to add insult to injury (and fatigue and dehydration), the younger, more attractive members of the party seemed to think it was a lark to scamper to the summit. Scamper, I tell you.
I stumble onto the summit of Lafayette with only will enough to snap one photo.
Please observe the cairn on the right. That is a US Forest Service licensed cairn, built in Switzerland to exacting specifications, flown to the White Mountains, and properly installed by qualified personnel. And it's been VANDALIZED. Do you need any further evidence of the moral deterioration of our once-great country?
Cake. There's no other word for me.
That is the look of a woman who can envision herself sitting down to dinner soon.
Four Clausons in an enclosed space? Nothing good can come of this situation.
Bananagrams. Good God, we almost perished in a fit of wholesomeness.
The next morning, the valley was filled with cotton candy.
Sunrise over the lake.
Sean would like you all to know he wears that shirt periodically. Ha ha ha. Get it? Oh, you're killing me!
Tramway Parking 2.7 miles. Please, please, please let it be an easy 2.7 miles.
I find it amusing that in the roughly 200 photos I snapped, Ryan's footwear is visible in exactly one. And in that one photo, he's wearing the sneakers he wore for like 45 seconds before tearing them off and feeding them to a bear.
Another attempt to capture one of the myriad brilliant shades of green that abounded throughout the forest.
As boreal forests go, this is pretty much the borealiest.
Getting to the Tramway Parking was no problem at all -- we just had to scale that rock face, and go up and over the peak to the right and down the other side. At least that's what it felt like.
Oh sure, thumbs up. No one is buying it, Karl. You were just as knackered as the rest of us.
As green as it gets.
Chomp! The question more than one person asked: what do the bugs eat when there are no hikers around?
Zzzzzzzzzzzz. My thoughts exactly.
Posted 19-Jun-2012 by James Spier