Up and over the Osceolas – Sept. 17, Day 11

(This is the second of four short Trip Reports from last weekend’s campaign. We’re breaking down each day into a separate report so our friends at TrailsNH can more easily tag each individual hike. Enjoy!)

Greeley Pond slides like a tear through the valley below East Osceola Mountain.

East Osceola is one of my favorite peaks. There, I said it!

It’s wooded. It’s steep. It has none of the views of its sister Osceola. And a few years ago, it nearly killed me. But maybe that’s why I like it, that mountain has taught me a lot about respect.

I used to set out to conquer peaks. But after a slip on East Osceola a couple of years ago, during an icy winter climb, I badly strained some ligaments in my knee and barely hobbled down off that mountain without ending up on the front page of the local paper. Since then, I merely visit the summits, if the mountain allows me. I’m thankful when they let me, and have no regrets when I have to turn back.

I was looking forward to this hike, up and over Osceola then over the ridge to East Osceola. It’s only about 7 miles, but the difficult climb down the east side to the Greeley Ponds area makes up for the low miles.

But there was another thing. A moved appointment meant that Meena needed to head home instead of hike with me, and I was feeling down about that. Plus, I woke up tired and with what felt like a muscle pull in my leg. So, the short miles would be good for me.

Highlights:

Weather: It was a complete turn around from the day before. With temps in the 50s, no wind and leaves turning, it was a perfect fall day for hiking. So perfect, in fact, that I got a very late start in the hopes of catching some late afternoon sunset views.

Trails: No issues here. Basically, it’s one long trail, no blow downs, not wet, well-marked. The ridge between the summits was fine. Even the steep descent on the east side was free of anything to hamper the hike.

Such a nice day that….: The trail was packed! There were dozens of people up on Osceola, including what appeared to be an entire high school of kids out for a hike. Nothing wrong with that, they were well-mannered and appeared to be having a nice time. But there must have been 40 of them, and they all came up together!

Post-hike: That muscle pull turned out to be something else entirely. After the hike, I noticed what could be a hernia. At the time, I felt it could also be a bruise and decided to see what happened tomorrow. After all this time, and all this planning, to be sidelined was too depressing to think about. So, I went to bed instead.

Complete untouched and untoned pictures from the day can be found here: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5283185

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