Speaking of "cosmic harmony," I went through heaven and hell in the White
Mountains of New Hampshire.
When the weather is good, the Whites are very, very good. When the weather is bad,
they are very, very bad, just like the little boy in the childhood nursery
In this photo essay, I am going to highlight only four of my days in New
Hampshire. The last three of these days showcase the White Mountains. I wasn't
planning to have so many "cloud" essays, but you'll soon see why I had trouble
selecting just a few of these shots to share with you.
These are four of the very, very good weather days I experienced in
New Hampshire, the ones with the most cloud drama. Several other days were
clear but the clouds weren't so prominent. You'll see some of the very, very
bad weather days - with ominous gray clouds or fog - in subsequent photo essays.
I took more pictures per day in New Hampshire and Maine than
anywhere else along the entire Appalachian Trail except for
14 in the Smokies and
32 in the Mt. Rogers National Recreational Area. The White
Mountains, and the mountains in Maine that I'll feature in the next essay, must
have less pollution in the air than other places along the AT because skies
don't come any more blue than these.
Let's take a little tour of New Hampshire, beginning with Mt. Cube . . .
Although the Mt. Cube summit is only 2,911 feet high there are outstanding
views from the multi-colored "white" Clough quartzite rock ledges. The photo
below and the
vertical photo at the top of the page are from
There is also a photo of an unusual striped rock in the
journal that day, down in the text. The pattern resembles the stripes on a
highway. The bedrock is enhanced by the intense blue sky and white clouds.
One of my best days in terms of scenery and pure fun was
118 on Franconia Ridge - awesome views, fascinating clouds,
interesting hikers. If you're ever in the neighborhood, I recommend you wait for
good weather or you'll miss some of the best scenery on the entire Trail.
Come along as we climb from Franconia Notch (U.S. Route 3) north to Mt. Lafayette:
Some of the gray clouds in the pictures above might be more appropriate in
the "storm" essay coming up, but it never did rain on my parade that day. The
clouds just looked ominous.
Here's a look back at Franconia Ridge in the late afternoon, from several
That's just a fraction of the sixty-four photos I took that day! It's a
wonder I made it to Galehead Hut in time for supper. I can't wait to return and
show it to Jim.
THE SOUTHERN PRESIES
Another great photo op awaited me on
120 in the southern half of the Presidential Range of the White
Mountains, which includes (from south to north) the mountains named in honor
of the following United States Presidents: Webster, Jackson,
Pierce/Clinton, Eisenhower, Franklin, Monroe, and Washington.
Here we go from Crawford Notch (U.S. Route 302) to Mt. Washington.
even have to worry about the 6,000-foot total climb!
And of course there is the appropriately named Lake of the Clouds Hut,
situated a mile below the summit of Mt. Washington:
THE NORTHERN PRESIES
The sky was just as blue and the clouds just as billowy on
126 when I ran/hiked the northern Presidential Range from Mt.
Washington to Mt. Madison, crossing Mounts Clay, Jefferson, and Adams on the
ridges between them.
There weren't many clouds early in the run (first photo), but
the sky got more interesting as I progressed northward over the spiny ridges.
Ready to book that flight to New Hampshire yet??
Next up: equally dynamic skies in Maine . . .