She is dragging, not because Janelle is tired or the weather isn’t cooperating. In fact, we had plenty of sleep the night before and for mid-October, the weather is as clear and warm as possible.
Rather, she knows that her hiking friends Alex and Sage are here, one trail and a couple of miles over, and she badly wants to be hiking with them. The Herr ladies, along with a whole troop of some of our favorite hikers are taking a different route up toward the Baldfaces, while we left earlier and are slogging our way up Eastman Mountain. We’ll join them in a couple of hours to complete their and our loop. But Eastman is on our list, it’s near the Baldfaces and once we reach the ridge, we can just hop over to join the others.
But first we must tag Eastman. No amount of cajoling, encouragement or reason seems to be working. Those two equally tough hiker girls are within shouting distance and the universe has conspired to put Janelle just out of their reach. I’m not particularly concerned about our inch-worm speed, but we did set a time and place on the mountain to meet them and I’m worried only that we’re going to be late and they will have to sit at some windy perch getting cold waiting for us.
But there’s nothing I can do. Alas, the real victim here is Eastman Mountain. The trail is moderate and beautiful. But this obscure peak is destined to become only a footnote in Janelle’s journey, the mountain we had to climb in order to get to Alex and Sage. I settle in to our pace, and accept our fate, and the girl and I move up Eastman with thoughts of our friends weighing heavily on our minds.
Join us tomorrow for Part 2 of our hike, and the full trail info and location report. Until then, here’s a couple wonderful links on our hike to explore.
Mark Truman’s Ramblings Blog about the hike. Great report and fantastic pictures: The Baldfaces, Eagle Crag and a Grand Plan
Michael Serdehely’s wonderful photo gallery: Hiking the Baldface Loop Trail