Saturday Morning we woke up at Dry River Campground. It was a bit chilly so I turned the heater on, got the camper nice and toasty. Started my coffee and began making breakfast for Aubrey and myself. We had pancakes. Her favorite camping breakfast. She requests….no demands them every time we go. After eating and getting dressed we headed out to Iron Mountain in Jackson.
Iron Mountain is a small peak on the NH 52 With a View list, not being up for a 4,000 footer so early in the season, I figured a nice easy hike for our 8th peak from the 52 With a View list would be a good option. We arrived at the trail just after 9am and were the first ones there. The hike starts out walking through a large field that offered really nice views, but there was still some early morning cloud cover lifting off from the mountains in the distance.
The trail then tucked into a small wooded section that was extremely muddy and had to use care to make sure the mud didn’t seep into Aubrey’s boots from the top. And then we crossed another small meadow. We finally entered the woods where we would stay the rest of the hike.
The trail was heavily eroded just like the trail guides had mentioned. We were both moving pretty slow still fighting off the morning. The trail climbed steadily up offering pretty much no views along the way.
We arrived at the site for the old fire tower, now in ruins, parts of it scattered the summit. Just below where the fire tower used to stand we found the sign for the summit, as well as a large pile of moose poop. Aubrey thought this was a definite sign a moose was around so we began walking very cautiously and wasn’t talking at all. I asked her what was wrong and she quickly shushed me and whispered that she didn’t want to scare the moose away! I explained that the poop we saw was old and there probably wasn’t one around, but we can keep looking.
After the viewless summit we followed the trail out just under a mile to the cliffs that make this viewless peak part of the 52 with a View list. It was a frustrating bit, because for me it was a mental game, knowing that we already hit the summit but now have to climb halfway down the other side, and then back up and down again. These views better be worth it!
As we passed more and more moose poop and the trees started to open up more we finally arrived at the viewpoint. And it was amazing. Endless views mountains, and small towns scattered around. We enjoyed our lunch over looking the valley below and after we were full and done being made lunch of by millions of black flies we started our journey back up and then down.
We started seeing more groups of hikers. One group even offered to pay me $20 for my high fashion bug net hat, but I laughed at him and told him it was far more valuable than $20, even though I only paid $1.77 at Walmart the day before. Just as we arrived back at the summit, Aubrey began having a melt down. The black flies had finally drove her crazy. She was wearing her Bug Baffler shirt, a mesh shirt with a zip off hoodie that completely covers her to half from these pesky bug. However, even with her shirt they would still swarm her and crowd the netting, trying to find away in. She had dealt with it really well until this point. A quick pep talk and she was feeling better and we were back on our way.
Thankfully soon enough we didn’t need our nets. We arrived back to the meadows and Aubrey wanted to run through them. “We need to run, so we don’t get killed” I stopped and questioned her. “What?! Who said anything about dying in a meadow.” “Bambi’s Mom! She told Bambi meadows are dangerous and he shouldn’t be in them or else he might die!” Ohhhh I thought to myself as I calmed down the crazy thoughts on how she would have learned this. I explained to her yes, it is dangerous for deer, not humans. She then decided she still wanted to pretend so she could run through the grass.
We headed back to the campground to relax and enjoyed some well earned jiffy pop! As we sat enjoying our popcorn, I pulled out her 52 with a View passport and passed the logging duty on to Aubrey. She will now fill out the info and place the stickers on her own from now on!