Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Waumbek: December 28, 2007

Here's to Max, my brother David's faithful pug for years and years. He was laid to rest two weeks ago. Today, Atticus and I were joined by our friend Jeff Veino and we hiked to the summit of Waumbek in memory of Max.

As always there's Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D when it comes to our winter hiking. So much depends upon the weather, especially since I hike with Atticus. The original plan is always to get above treeline but that rarely comes through. We did not get above treeline but we did climb through the lush tangle of live and dead trees that make up the trail over Mt. Starr King on the way to Mt. Waumbek's summit. It was a cloudy day, one made for a hike to a wooded summit with no view other than the glorious trees along the way.

The first time I hiked Waumbek two and a half years ago I did so with my brothers David, Eddie and Jeff. It was a sultry day with poor air quality, the kind of day where you feel like you are trying to breathe under water. That first hike up Waumbek was tortuous. This is one of the reasons my brother picked Waumbek for his Max, because as he said it kicked "his a**" and as much as he loved Max, like Max (in my brother's eyes), Waumbek wasn't much to look at.

But as you will see, Waumbek is a joy to behold. It's views, however, are not from some open summit such as Moosilauke from a couple of days ago, but of ancient forests; trees draped with Spanish Moss; trees coated with ice and snow; and trees both living and dead intermingled on this wondrous ridge where moose are often seen.

The slide show for our lovely and protected trip to the top of Waumbek can be found right here.

For those of you who have decided to enter our contest (see previous post) and try to figure out the songs that appears in our slide shows (starting with the last one...Moosilauke) you will find this song a bit more challenging, I would guess. If you get this one, you are good. Remember, the first person to know seven correct song titles and the person or group performing them, wins a box set of our greeting cards. However, on this one you don't need to know who performed it, but who composed it.

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