- Date: July 23, 2011
- Trail: Starr King Trail
- Total hiking time: 7 hours
- Weather: Humid, light rain in the morning
"Our task was to hike a longer distance on some generally moderate trails to the summit of Mt. Starr King and then along the ridge to Mt Waumbek. The mostly wooded course would limit the relief of wind on our long humid hike, and we expected the heat to be our larger challenge."
Read more about Randy's thoughts on this hike here.
Before our hike up Mount Waumbek, I wrote about the thought that there was no such thing as an easy hike. Every trip into the woods or up a mountain has its own challenges. Well, our Waumbek group could not have made the hike any better if they tried. We had great energy, and the little bumps we encountered ended up working in our favor all day.
We had a little summer sprinkle as we met at the trailhead. It rained lightly on and off for about 10 minutes, but in the end, the shower just served to release some humidity. As we took off on the trail, the air was very cool...good hiking weather. We kept a good pace as a group; taking breaks as needed and exchanging positions in line. There was lot of friendly banter, as strangers became friends. It was an amazing day with many great moments; however two moments stick out to me.
Near the summit of Starr-King was our best opportunity to catch some mountain views. We'd heard that there is a particularly good view of the Presidential Range. I am not that familiar with the range, but wanted to look. I went back up the trail a few yards to a large rock that would allow me to see better over the trees. Randy happened to be there as well. As I was looking around, he asked if "the Prezzies" were in the distance. I replied that I thought so but wasn't sure. After a little maneuvering, Randy stood in front of me (thanks to the rock, we were the same height now), held out his arm, and asked me to trace the range from left to right with his finger. As I did so, Randy rattled off the names and descriptions of the range. It was an interesting moment to have someone who cannot see describing to me what I was looking at. Randy and I both commented as such at the end of the hike.
Our hike co-leader, Chris Garby, took on the task of leading Randy for a bit as we returned to the trailhead. Randy was kind enough to make the offer to everyone in the group. I have lead Randy into and out of many Patriot games, but was anxious to see how a person leading him on a hike would do. Being forced to be conscious of someone else's needs before your own is always an educational experience. Chris did an excellent job and I could see him gain an even greater appreciation for the work Quinn does.
Overall I don't think the group could have had a better experience. I thoroughly enjoyed co-leading the hike with Chris and look forward to leading more in the future. I strongly encourage anyone reading this report to go on a 2020 VQ hike as well. It will be an eye-opening experience for you.
Pre-hike page:Mt. Waumbek Pre-hike Information
Blog posts about the hike:"Why is our Mt. Waumbek success linked to Mt. Vesuvius and the alleged World's Greatest Traveller?" by Randy
Blog posts from before the hike:"Challenges" by Drew
Photos:Picasa web album: "2020VQ - Waumbek" by Jenifer
Picasa web album: "Waumbek" by Tracy