It was a beautiful sunny blue-sky day, and I had a commitment which took up most of my morning. Aarrgh! Finally, around noon I was able to break away. Lines from a children's nursery rhyme passed through my mind as I headed out the door for a hike to Mt. Tom: "Tom Tom the piper's son, Stole a pig and away he ran." Although I didn't steal a pig, the bit about "away he ran" certainly rang true!
I'm very grateful that locations such as Mt. Tom are a very short drive from my home. Even with such a late start, there would still be plenty of remaining daylight hours to drive to the trailhead in Crawford Notch and complete the 5.8 mile (round-trip) hike.
The trail combination (Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur) leading to Mt. Tom is a very popular route. And as a result, even after a recent snowfall, the corridor is quickly tramped out by snowshoers and the pathway becomes like a sidewalk.
|Typical segment of trail leading to Mt. Tom under wintertime conditions|
Since I'd decided to make this an unhurried hike, there was ample time to spend on the summit for a pleasurable and prolonged visit with the Gray Jays. Although I'm uncertain if the Jays enjoyed the camaraderie, I can say with certainty that they enjoyed the pretzels and other treats that I provided to them!
|Collage of snapshots taken of the Gray Jays|
The following photos show some of the other sights that I enjoyed during my leisurely hike to Mt. Tom.
|A "Bird's-eye view" of Carrigain Notch|
|Mother Nature's artistry of angles, slopes and bumps. (If you're sharply "inclined" to think that Mt. Webster is dominating this scene, you're correct!)|
|'Tis difficult to ignore 'Big George' when traveling in this part of the White Mountains on a bright sunny day.|
|Love this "pencil forest" along the Mt. Tom Spur trail|
|Christmas Tree decorations in mid-March. Now that's 'March madness'!|
|As weird as it might seem, it was even delightful to catch the trailside "peeks of peaks" during this leisurely adventure in the mountains.|
|Although I'd decided not to continue beyond Mt. Tom, I did walk a 100 yards out of my way to the junction of the Willey Range Trail and A-Z Trail. Both trails were broken out!|