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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Washington Slide Show Is Up

Okay, before you get to the slide show, a few things you should know. Today was a beautiful, windless weather day, well worth the wait to get to the highest point in New England. But this was a strange hike for me. I dropped my car in Crawford Notch and Ed Hawkins picked me up and drove me to the Cog Railroad parking lot. Atticus and I joined their group for the first part of the hike. They were off to Jefferson. Once above treeline they would turn left, Atti and I would turn right. For whatever reason I just couldn't keep up with the group. I felt lethargic and a bit achy. A mile into the hike two gray jays were above watching me vomit up my breakfast. They followed Atti and me up the trail and saw me vomit a second time. We did get above treeline to say goodbye to Ed's group. Then we moved slowly up the edge of Mt. Clay towards Washington. It took me forever to get to the summit. I had no energy. Once on the far side of Clay and on the final 1.1 mile climb to Washington we encountered an incredible amount of ice. I had on crampons, Atti chose his footing carefully. When we reached the summit we sat for a while and rested. The made our way down the Crawford Path, over Monroe, Eisenhower and Pierce and then out to my car. It was slow going and I was tired the entire way. The sky turned a bruised gray and that's pretty much how I felt along the way. Notice, if you will, the change in the color of the sky from the beginning of the slide show to the end. That, along with the way I was feeling, is the reason this slide show focuses on Mt. Washington. After that long wind-up, here is the slide show.