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.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thanks for Bearing With Us: Our Fundraising Quest Will Start Again In June

This morning we took a walk in a cool spring rain. It was as if someone had peeled back the fresh skin of the mountains and let all the freshness out. It smelled that way, like a ripe fruit. Meanwhile she clouds sit heavily atop the peaks. Here in the notch rain clouds often stick around a while reminding me of clothing snagged on a jagged edge. It appears the weather is here to stay for a few days.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that some mountains, even bigger ones like Lafayette, are now stripped of their snow, at least if you are going up the Old Bridle Path, which unravels beneath on open forest and faces to the southwest where the sun has been bright. Go just around the corner and above 3,500 feet on the approach of Mt. Garfield and you will run into several feet of snow still, since that main trail faces to the north.

Yesterday some hikers climbed up Lafayette and were happy to report there was no snow and none on the ridge across Lincoln and Little Haystack. They decided not to descend on the Falling Waters Trail, partially because of the great weather, because of the recent trail conditions report ice and snow still and from reading between the lines, because of the recent death of the young Chinese woman who died when a boulder fell on her while she was climbing the Falling Waters Trail.

The person writing the report on the Views from the Top on-line hiking site, said his party continued on to Mt. Liberty and strongly suggested no one else follow their path. It seems that once you enter the trees between Little Haystack and Liberty there is very deep snow under the trees.

But at least some mountains are now freeing up. This is good news for Atticus and me as I’ve put off the 4,000-footers since winter ended and the full two rounds were out of reach. I didn’t want to have to put Atti through the deep, deep snow. We still have some 4,000-footers to hike in our fundraising efforts for Angell Animal Medical Center and will continue on when June arrives, which is not to far away.

So, if you would still like to contribute to Angell through our efforts, please check out this link to see how to do so. If you would like to donate a peak to the animal in your life, check out this list.

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