I was headed up to some friends house in VT so naturally a trip of Garfield was in order. I hadn't been there in a while, and the forecast wasn't that great, but a day hiking in lousy weather is still better than doing something else. The trailhead was full when I arrived, I parked just up the road a bit. As I started hiking it was chilly, but not that bad. Soon a group of hikers passed me, and I could hear their conversation for a while. We leapfrogged every time either one of us stopped for a break so I got to see them several times on the trip up. Most of the leaves were down, there wasn't any foliage left to speak of. One thing I did notice was some new water bars, that were built very well but the bark was left on! Little things like that drive me nuts, if you remove the bark the logs last much longer. Anyways, not a big deal, I'm happy that someone did so much good trailwork, it just could have been better.
The Garfield trail is mostly old road, so it's pretty level and steady for the entire length. As always happens to me on this trail, I look up and there's the trail junction with the ridge. It always sneaks up on me, and it doesn't seem like it takes very long to reach. Up top I saw the first of some ice, not much but enough to cause a nasty fall if you weren't careful. The trail passes through a nice fir wave, before climbing over the final set of rocks to come out at the summit. On top is a the foundations from an old fire watcher's hut, since the top is above treeline they didn't need to build a tower. I ran into an AMC group up top, and one of the hikers was a friend from my days back at Digital. Hi XXXXX!
It was cold and nasty up top. All of us up there took shelter in the foundations or back in the trees. I ate lunch, quickly, then wandered about taking pictures a bit. Finally, I headed back down, again, being careful on the ice. Once back on the Garfield trail the trip went very quickly. I was down low, past the few stream crossings, when the sun came out. Even the mushrooms looked good. It felt very different than up top. I also notice a snowmobile trail crossing that I had missed on the way up. At the car, I saw an amusing license plate parked right behind me. I nice note to end the day on.
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