It's a really simple and easy hike and today was a beautiful day for it. I started out at the turn around on Belknap Mountain Road, parked and hiked a short distance to the trail. There's a few houses and a really friendly dog wandering around today. He almost joined me on the hike but I convinced him to stay home. The gain is pretty gradual and constant on the Whiteface Mountain Trail. No water crossings and the trail is pretty dry. At the junction, I decided to head to Whiteface first. Heading to the right, the trail is pretty flat and wide. There's a few sections of mud that are easy to get around. Heading up to Whiteface, there's a series of balds that look out over the region. There are views for miles today.
I was the only one over on Whiteface this morning but I quickly headed over to Piper rather than hanging out, retracing my steps back to the junction. A note about today... TICKS! Thank goodness my dog is white and treated with Advantix. The ticks are crazy today. On our way back to the junction, I must have pulled at least 10 off her. None imbedded, thankfully. Do your tick checks folks! I take the Piper-Whiteface link (Green Blazed) over to Piper. I really liked this trail because of the slabs.
It's a beautiful day on Piper and Isis and I take an extra long break at the summit, chatting with a few people. It's such a quick hike but so worth it. There's a celebration at the summit today as Piper has been designated conservation land. The summit quickly fills up with people but I managed to get a picture on the summit chair prior to heading back down. Isis and I detoured to a nice quiet sunny spot for a rest. That full pack makes a great pillow!
Two weeks... I'm down to two weeks before I head back out on the Long Trail. It's been a long year between these trips and I'm beyond excited to get back on trail. This past week, I finally got my pain level down to a .5. For reference, my pain scale was off the charts at certain points this year and it was all I could do to function. So, I'm pretty excited that my medications are finally working and even with a little swelling, I'm ready for the week on the trail. I know it seems silly to carry on about this trip. But, after this past year, it's a really important finish for me. And even though it's not a Thru Hike, this will still mean that I'm end to end from North Adams Mass to Canada, each step of my own power and with my best four legged friend, that's pretty special. All set to leave on June 3rd after one more local hike next weekend.