November 11, 2007 Priest Rock

The announcement
This Sunday the hike is Priest Mountain, near the Lexington Reservoir. I expect we’ll be joined by Raina this time, messing up our usual way of keeping track of whether we’ve lost any bikers by counting legs and dividing by 2.

We leave here at 9 and will hike about 8 miles total. I’ve never been there, but I’m told the trail is exposed, spirals around the mountain, is not too steep, and has fantastic views every metric furlong. Plan on lunch on the trail. I’m guessing that this is an upper end moderate hike.

The hike
Last week’s Priest Rock hike was probably the hardest hike we did this year. It was about 2000 feet of climb over 8 miles, making it a pretty steep hike. It was good that there was a good fog swirling around us much of the time — it made for a great, moody atmosphere and kept us cool for the hard grunt parts of the trail. Some parts of the trail were at about a 25% grade.

Having Reina the Wonder Dog along was a treat. And Kristen was great as a task master, urging us on through the mists. It was good that the mists prevented us from seeing the next mountain section ahead until we were on top of it.

The return part of the hike was much nicer than the first half of the hike. It was under dense tree cover with lots of autumn covers, on a narrow, very rocky trail, with hawks swirling around our heads and salamanders scurrying across the trail trying to trip us up.

Ron, the official FOMFOK cartographer, has made some pictures and mapping data available at: http://picasaweb.google.com/thwarte/PriestRock.

 Mg 5234

 Mg 5244

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