While our morning consisted of shoe shopping and mossy scrambles, our afternoon turned into a challenging climb to the top of Mount Race, where we stopped for lunch, and then back down and up again over Mount Everett, where we hiked along the ledge with sweeping views of the valley.
The inclines to the peaks were pretty steep and in some areas, wooden boards have been permanently attached to the mountain to provide assistance. Other areas of the trail are just as steep, but you’re scrambling up the old fashioned way – by finding holds in the rock. Add a 50 pound backpack and let’s just say this isn’t a walk in the park. Very satisfying though, so no complaints here.
We met a few Turkey Vultures along the way, which of course, I loved! There were three of them and I’m guessing the last bird to fly off of the ledge was the offspring of the first two to jump. He or she seemed younger and less secure with flying.
I found it so fascinating how when the first 2 birds flew off the cliff, they hovered in the not too far distance until the third bird joined them. Then, they flew away and even though I was watching them as closely as possible, I could not see them once they flew over a certain patch of trees. Even re-watching the video (posted below), I always lose sight of them at this point. Camouflage is so cool.
Below: Video from Instagram, click to watch! Also, look for the white blaze on the rock – this trail runs right next to a couple thousand foot drop…
My arms were so tired and shaky at this point, but the view was too cool to pass taking a video of. We had just come around the corner and there were 3 Turkey Vultures perched smack dab on the middle of the trail! The first one flew off the side of the cliff right away, but the second two stayed put. We waited a while thinking they would fly off on their own, but eventually we just had to go for it and walk straight towards them. I’m guessing the last bird to fly was still learning – he or she seemed scared to take the plunge! #appalachiantrail
Continue reading about this section hike in the next post: The Hemlocks Shelter
(This is a continuation post. To start at the beginning of this section hike, visit Sages Ravine Northbound)