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Sunday, June 17th 2012

8:11 PM

Mt Webster NH 6/17/12

     This was my first ascent of this 3910 foot  NH mountain that has great views north of Mt Jackson, Mt Pierce, Mt Eisenhower, Mt Monroe and Mt Washington.  I started at 9:08 AM when there was still a nip in the air but in time it warmed up to about 73 degrees or so, ideal hiking weather. 

     The trail is rough in spots and involves a lot of boulder evading, boulder negotiating, rock hopping, and slanted boulder climbing.  There is, however, a very pretty waterfall about half way up.  There were also a large number of flowering bunchberries and star flowers. 

     When I was nearing the top I took a rest stop and had some ice tea.  I met a young man from Massachusetts and spoke with him about hiking for a while.  Then a young lady came up and she said that she was ahead of a large group!  I could see some of them coming up.  Afraid that this might mean a busload of 100 people, who might occupy all the scenic spots on the top, I decided to rush up to the top before they got there, and I did arrive just ahead of them, reaching the summit at 12:17 PM.  It turned out that my fear of a huge crowd was baseless because they were just a meet-up group of 16.  While I was having lunch and soaking up the beautiful views, I spoke with a pretty young lady nearby who said she was from Boston. 

     Then I heard some birds in the trees and turning around I saw two gray jays.  I immediately stood up and fed one of them by hand a piece of a Ritz cracker.  There were at least two pairs on the summit, maybe more, and I fed them a number of times.  I also gave a cracker to the lady from Boston and she fed the gray jays by hand too.

     Also on the summit were a young couple hiking with a very cute Yorkshire terrier named Libby.  All of the people on the summit except me went on to Mt Jackson, but I decided only to climb Webster today, having previously climbed Mt Jackson and not wanting to overdo it.

     On the way down I saw a spring peeper near a stream.  I also met a hiker with a dog named Buddy.  Although this dog was 15 years old, he was still a good hiker and was closing in on climbing all of the 4000 foot mountains in New Hampshire.  I was back out at 4:42.  It was a delightful hike and the views were unforgettable.       

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