Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Percy Peaks

Skies were threatening and the weather forecast was full of showers for the entire weekend. It was looking dismal for getting outdoors but I had a nice bike ride last night, a paddle this morning followed by today's hike up North Percy Peak. Before leaving I checked the online doppler radar and everything was clear with no ominous colors indicating no showers at the present time.

We threw our packs in the vehicle and pulled out onto Route 110 heading for the Nash Stream Forest. Our destination was Percy Peaks with a hike up North Percy Peak. It was partly sunny with plenty of clouds and haze. The temperature was very warm and the humidity was uncomfortable. It was going to be a sweaty hike.

There was two vehicles at the trailhead parking area and I was actually surprised there were any considering this is kind of an out-of-the-way hike. We jumped out and wasted no time hitting the trail. There were a few bugs flying around but not biting and very tolerable. The air was heavy with no breeze and the humidity was like a warm, wet blanket.

The trail follows Slide Brook. As the trail climbs higher the brook remains far below. We came up to a very large boulder and the trail turns left and veers away from the brook. Saw lots of orange mushrooms on this hike. We were still waiting for a wisp of air.

Further up the trail we followed along moss covered ledges. Nice views were emerging from between the trees. We reached the trail junction and turned left for the final push to the summit. Still waiting for a cool breeze.

We were soon on open, exposed ledges. I can only imagine that it would be very unnerving to be climbing on this granite on a wet or icy day. It was one final scramble over these ledges to reach the top.

We reached the summit and saw our first hiker of the day busy picking bluberries. The entire summit was covered with ripened bluberries. The views were incredible and well worth the heat, humidity and sweat. There was finally a cool breeze, however slight, and it felt good.

With clouds still threatening rain we didn't want to linger long taking a chance the ledges would get wet and slick. Any possible lightning would be extremely dangerous on this bare summit. So numerous photos were taken in every direction, we had a snack and then proceeded to make our descent.

It was a quick trip down to the trailhead parking area. This hike was timed just right, as we drove back home the first rain shower hit. We all agreed that the views at the top of North Percy Peak were a great reward for this hike despite the heat, humidity and threat of rain.

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