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06 March 2012

A Maiden Voyage: Mt. Tom and Mt. Field

On many occasions, I've hiked to Mts. Tom and Field, and so this was not my "maiden voyage" to those two mountain peaks.  And if the truth be told, this is just another shameless "me too" report about a hike to two of the NH 4K peaks.  The only thing that somewhat sets it apart is that this trip was the "maiden voyage" of my brand new $97 camera!  Nope, I didn't forget to add a zero to the price.  I know that one can spend $970+ for a camera and lens system.

Many readers can probably recall what it's like to be "in between" relationships with a man or a woman.  That's sort of where I am in terms of a camera.  My much beloved Panasonic finally bit the dust.  I tried entering into a relationship with a Sony, but that didn't work for me.   And so, until I can find a camera that I want to "marry", I've opted to "date" a cute little Casio for awhile.

Things went well on my first "date" with Casio.  It was a gorgeous 6th day of March.  There was plenty of bright sunshine, the air temperature was in the mid 20s which I think is just about perfect for winter hiking, and there was very little wind.   From start to finish, the trails were firmly packed by other snowshoe hikers who had traveled these woodland corridors over the preceding days.

Casio and I only met two other hikers along the way.  Also, at one point in the journey, we encountered a motionless character who bore a striking resemblance to Darth Vader of Star Wars fame.   Take a look at the next photo.  Am I just letting my imagination go wild?

I gave Casio the complete tour and pointed out all the highlights along the way.  For example, on the approach to Mt. Tom, we stopped to take a picture of what I call the "stick forest".

And once we reached the summit of Mt. Tom we enjoyed the usual fine views overlooking the Zealand and Pemi Wilderness areas.  The view toward the Carrigain Notch is one of my favorite vistas from Mt. Tom.

As many readers know, there are also very nice views of the Presidential Range from Mt. Tom, as well as from Mt. Field.  Casio performed well in capturing images of the Presidentials from both of those locations, but the best image was taken from little Mt. Avalon which we visited as a short side-trip during the return leg of our journey.

Speaking of Mt. Field, upon arrival at this summit, there were Gray Jays there to greet us.  Shown below is one of them.

Also, from the top of Mt. Field, I was interested in testing Casio's ability to zoom.  Shown below are two photos.  One is a zoomed shot looking at the Highland Center and the old Crawford's train station.  The other snapshot is a zoomed view of the summit of Mt. Washington.

To round out the day, I toyed with the idea of going on over to Mt. Willey from Mt. Field.  However, that thought quickly vanished when I saw that the trail had not been travelled in awhile and was filled with snow that was literally knee-deep!

As indicated earlier in this report, a short side-trip was made to Mt. Avalon on the way back to the trailhead.  From this location there is a great view of the Presidential Range, as well as a striking view of the Crawford Notch area.  Earlier in this report I showed a snapshot of the Presidentials taken from Mt. Avalon.  Shown below is the Crawford Notch vista.

To sum it up, I have no idea where my relationship with Casio is going.  We will probably continue to "date" for awhile.  But in my heart, I think there is little likelihood for a long-term relationship like I had with Panasonic.


OPW5000 said...

Casio does a pretty good job of capturing the crystal blue sky, unless you did that in Photoshop ;)

Great pictures as usual!

Summerset said...

LOL. Looks like the Casio might get at least a second date. The pictures are good, and you shot a range of photos from zooming in on Washington to our fine feathered friend. Yes, looks like you found a Stormtrooper up there, I can see the resemblance from the side. Wow, that's a lot of snow up at the Field summit/Willey Range jct. - way more than when I was there a few weeks ago!

Rory said...

Wow! For a $97 camera, you're getting some great shots. And yes, I totally see Darth Vader in that picture. Hahaha! Thanks for sharing!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Owen,

Thank you for your comments!
Just a couple of minor tweaks were done with Picasa for a few of the photos that I posted. Most of them were “un-tweaked” and pulled straight from the camera’s memory card. The photos look okay in a Blog posting, but upon close scrutiny, the images look like they were taken with an inexpensive camera!


1HappyHiker said...

Summerset, I think you’re right, i.e. Casio will at least get a second date! We might even go steady for awhile, but at this point, I don’t see us forging a lasting relationship.

Thanks for posting your comments . . . much appreciated, as always!


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rory . . . thanks for confirming that you can see a resemblance to Darth Vader in my snapshot. Sometimes I wonder if it is just my warped imagination that sees things such as this! :)


Ellen Snyder said...

Hi John -- Your new new hiking partner must be svelte and handy. Nice photos that she takes. What a sweet route to try out with your new companion. I hope it works out or at least you have a good time while it lasts :) Ellen

1HappyHiker said...

Ellen . . . your comments are precious! And I must admit that I laughed out loud upon reading them! Thanks so much for posting.


NeoAkela said...

John, great photos - I think your new companion may be a keeper! Love that shot towards Carrigain Notch - nice focus on both far and near and beautiful frosty trees. Good snow cover but quite a difference from a similar hike last December. Great day to be out on the trails - thanks for sharing the journey!

Marty said...

Cheap date!! Gorgeous results-
Is this a case of never getting over one's first love? the pictures look terrific, is it a personality issue...... difficult to handle, slow to respond, tires out easily (that would be a battery issue),or do you prefer brunettes over blondes?
Hope things work out and if not, it's a mutual breakup-


1HappyHiker said...

Chris . . . thanks for your kind words and for your input about Casio. As you know from your terrific trek to Isolation on the same day, it was indeed a great day to be out on the trails! And oh yes . . . I recall exactly what you’re talking about in terms of last December when we met up on the Willey Range Trail and the snow was significantly deeper!


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Marty,

This may well indeed be a case of “never getting over one’s first love”! :)


Mark Truman said...

What everyone else said! Beautiful shots of an amazing mountain day. And a nice first date as well. Give poor Casio a chance to prove herself, she's off to a good start.

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Mark,

First of all, thank you for your nice comments about the snapshots in my posting. Also, I think you are correct,i.e. Casio is off to a good start! Even though the genealogy cannot be traced back to such distinguished families such as Canon or Nikon, this should not rule out the opportunity to become a steady “date”. :)


Rita Wechter said...

I loved the pictures from your new companion, John. And I'm jealous! I hate to admit that my small Olympus was a tad (OK a lot) more expensive than the Casio and sometimes my pictures are not up to par. Might be time for a break-up?
P.S. Some of the photos on my blog were taken with a larger Canon digital and some were even taken with my old Canon SLR using slide film!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita . . . don’t want to sound like “Dear Abby”, but I would advise against breaking up with Olympus. You have taken many memorable trips together, and even though Olympus might have let you down now & then with some photos that were not up to par, it seems that overall you have a good relationship. And if you don’t believe me, then take Neil Sedaka’s advice that “breaking up is hard to do”! :)

On a more serious note, thank you for your kind remarks about the photos I posted. Very much appreciated!