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 Field and Willey on a bluebird day 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Field and Willey on a bluebird day
While Joe was over enjoying Mt. Hobbes, I was across the notchway enjoying the winter/spring conditions on Field and Willey.

Usual 6 am pick up at Cathie's. I drove this time, in the rental since my rav still in the shop after Monday's crash on the way to work. These last few weeks not the best for me and my jalopy. Hasn't stopped me from hiking though so all is well. But I digress.

After the coffee stop we hit the highway by 6:20ish. We saw so many state troopers on the 93 that we lost count. At least 8 between exits 14 and 28. Not much traffic so we made good time. As we approached Crawford Notch we couldn't help but notice a helicopter overhead, rather low. He was circling around the Highland Center, Crawford Road parking lot area. He finally landed in the big field just below the parking area for Mt. Hobbes. We wondered what was up, but since it wasn't a military or first aid copter we didn't know what to make of it. Shortly after we were at the Crawford Depot. As we pulled in to the hiker parking, there was 1 car. By the time I put it in park and popped the trunk, three cars had pulled in and another was on the way. We wondered if this was part of some meetup group. We had a quick discussion about whether we should pick another hike but in the end said screw it. We were here, we're hiking here.

Boots on trail at 8, we walked in a short way before deciding to use the hillsounds rather than the spikes. We figured we'd want the hounds for the icy sections on Avalon and instead of having to switch out we just went with them from the get-go. We saw that all but 1 of the others ahead of us or passing us as we put them on had spikes. When we got to the most sketchy spots we commented that we could not imagine doing that in just spikes, but I reminded Cathie that we did Airline in spikes and if we had the hillsounds there we would have said the same thing. Seems all did ok but I cannot imagine the work it took for that one bare booter. HYOH I guess. We hiked at a fairly steady pace, taking our time as we had no agenda and all day to accomplish it. Made Field's summit in a bit over two hours and were greeted by a most amazing undercast with the bluest skies above. We hung out, took a few pics and video, Cathie fed a jay, I enjoyed some coffee and we deliberated about heading over to Willey. In the end Cathie felt bad for me and my aspirations and she made the call to go for it. I was happy either way but we were both glad we went. I love that stretch between Field and Willey, especially when you get to that side hill traverse where you look to your right and see nothing but hills. It reminds me of the bonds. We made it over to Willey in about 40 mins and had the place to ourselves to sit and enjoy our lunch. A handful of others showed up, including a trio that had braved the hike up the ladders on the Willey Range Trail. None stayed long and we sat in the sun, enjoying the simple pleasures of hot coffee for me with a PBJ while we watched the copter going back and forth. We guessed he was re-supplying the huts and found out later we were right. The guy must've landed in that field b/c he was the first to arrive. Once the supply trucks showed up they made a LZ at the Highland and used that as their base for his forays back and forth to the huts to ferry in supplies and ferry out construction debris and various odds and ends.

We were out at 2:30 with lots of down time and stops for pics and video. Quick change into clean, dry clothes at the Highland and we headed for home. I wore my lighter pants and managed to not catch the crampon on the pant leg. Has anyone else noticed a different gait required for the hounds? It kinda messes with my cadence, and after miles upon miles begins to bother my feet. I have weird feet though so don't know if this is just me. Thoughts??

Pics - I took over 150 photos so tough to weed down to a few...
Icy right from the start
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We have spring on the left, winter on the right
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Still cool ice in the streams
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Hard to appreciate, but it was a magical setting with the contrast between the pines and hardwoods with their winter coats
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Jct with Avalon Trail. Looks good from here
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Anybody know the elevation gain in that mile? I meant to look it up. It's pretty steep.

Changing conditions as we gain elevation
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Just a little bit of ice

Image Image


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But then we got to some snow cover
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birds were busy down low. Weird.
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I L-O-V-E this little ledge area
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It was magical, mystical. I had Led Zep's Misty Mountains refrain in my head
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Trees were 1/2 and 1/2
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SO darned pretty
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Cathie drinking it in
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You can see the ridgeline for Field in the background, shrouded in the mist
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The view from Field's little spur path
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Grey Jay overlooking his domain
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An actual landing at HC, most often he just hovered and somebody clipped in the next load
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:00 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
Nice Kathy. Didn't manage to fall either I take it. The ice has been insane this year, as opposed to other years I'e hiked. Definitely felt it yesteday too after i took a spill on the ice coming down off a peak in maine. Still not a reason not to get out and enjoy the day.

Greg

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:35 am
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
MIST-i-cal!

Great photos. I saw low bird work like that on the way down from Waumbek. And speaking of Waumbek, good call on the traction, you don't want to spend your lovely spring days with your foot up!


Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:55 pm
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
Great pics. Glad to know I'm not the only one who takes a million and then has trouble whittling them down, not that there's any real reason to. The more the merrier when it comes to photos in a TR if you ask me. I'd harass you about not taking the rental for a long ride far far away and just returning to the AMC48, but when you catch an undercast like that there's really nothing to say but WOW, unless it's JEALOUS!! :D


Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:10 pm
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
Love the pic before the gray jay, looks surreal, how you do that to make it come out that way? I cannot believe how icy everything is! You've been consistent in getting out wwekly, good for u, I'm sure it is a great detox! I hope to hike again someday :?


Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:01 am
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
hiking lady wrote:
Love the pic before the gray jay, looks surreal, how you do that to make it come out that way? I cannot believe how icy everything is! You've been consistent in getting out wwekly, good for u, I'm sure it is a great detox! I hope to hike again someday :?

Thanks HL. I did nothing to make it come out like that except to literally point and shoot. No editing, photoshopping, enhancements. And, yes. I have been fortunate to get out regularly. And, yes. It is a great detox! I commented to my brother as we were driving home from Adams a few weekends ago that my favorite part of that hike was the single-mindedness as we were ascending and then descending the summit cone. All that was in my mind was the next step. Nothing else mattered, nothing else even entered my mind. I didn't even realize it until we were at the hut and I was chi-laxing and thinking back. Detox. Therapy. Moving Meditation. Whatever you call it. I admit it. I'm addicted. "Hi. I'm Kathy and I'm a hike-a-holic."

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Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:12 pm
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
8)
Image

Believe it or not, this guy/gal was on Willey Too. :)

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Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:24 am
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
Love the undercast! I've only seen a handful of them myself, with the best one from Jay Peak. Even saw an undercast once from the top of Fort Mtn in Epsom!

It's been a while since I saw a grey jay though. Last time I saw one was on top of Mont Megantic. I think a trip to Crawford Notch is in order, whenever I can get myself to go there :cry:

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Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:10 pm
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 Re: Field and Willey on a bluebird day
hiker0200 wrote:
I think a trip to Crawford Notch is in order, whenever I can get myself to go there :cry:

It's not that hard Spence. Take the 93 to the 3 to the 302 and BOOM. There you are. 8)

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Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:39 pm
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