“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
Mt. Tom, Field & Willey (4047, 4300, 4302)
Trail: Avalon Tr., Willey Ridge, A-Z Tr.
Date: October 26, 1998
Attending: Gabe, Simone, Noah, & John Chicoine
Miles: 8-9-mile Time: 8 Hrs.
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: None
Weather: Overcast (very high ceiling) Summits in and out of clouds, 40’ish,
Arrived at Crawford Notch RR station @ 9:15, the Avalon Trail starts right behind the station. Avalon is a nice trail with only a few steep sections nothing very steep. We turned onto the Willey Ridge trail and soon summated Mt Field. Field is a wooded summit with about a 30Ft. diameter clearing with obstructed views but we were there after the leaves had long since fallen so we did have a few glimpse’s of the surrounding mountains. Noah and Gabe found a small patch of snow left over from recent flurries. We had hoped for better views today but that didn’t happen, Mt. Willey was way too foggy to see anything, we could hardly see down the trail. We were visited by 2 mountain pigeons (Grey Jay’s) that provided some entertainment while they ate figs out of our hands as we took pictures of them. We even had a Fools Grouse along the trail.
We continued along the Willey Ridge trail down the side of Field and Willey and back up to the summit of Willey. The wind was blowing quite briskly and it got real cold on the ridge at the summit so we hunkered down behind some trees on the trail and had lunch. We headed back over to Mt. Field on our way to Mt Tom, and branched off of the summit of Field over to the A-Z trail. We met a family out for a day hike that had taken a wrong turn (their map was in the car) and was headed towards Willey Cliffs thinking they were heading down the Mt. Avalon spur to the Crawford RR Station. Way off! From the A-Z trail we met up with the 1/2-mile spur to Mt. Tom. Noah decided since he’s not into peak bagging not to bother to bag Mt. Tom with us so he found himself a mossy spot to curl up and catch a few Z’s and sing some songs. We on the other hand were on a mission. Mt .Tom is another wooded summit hardly worth bothering to hike which would never get any attention if it were not on the 4K list. The only saving grace of Mt. Tom was that the sun was shinning when we got there so we were able to snap a few shots of Field and Willey. We got back to the car at 4:45 and hit Echo Lake across the street for quick foot washing. The people passing by us in cars seemed not to understand seeing people wading in Echo lake knee deep as if it were summer, with the temps now hardly in the 30’s. Our hot dogs didn’t seem to mind the cooling down a bit. This was a long day of putting miles under feet.