Cascade & Porter

Another day, another hike, another pair of High Peaks.

Today that sounds humdrum, but it didn’t always. Cascade (without Porter) was our first High Peak back in 2009. Like this day, it was hot and humid. Unlike this day, it felt impossible! I would guess the majority of the many, many hikers we passed on the way up and down felt more like I did seven years ago.

Our first hint was the group of about 8-10 people who stopped to sit on a log only about a half mile from the trailhead. “It’s going to be a long day for them,” I thought, as we breezed by.

An hour later, we were on the beautiful, open summit of Cascade Mountain. There were only about a dozen people there, abnormally low I thought for a holiday weekend. We sat for a bit and located mountains on the map, putting up with the buzzing but not biting flies.

Panoramic view over Porter Mountain (center) to the Great Range
Panoramic view over Porter Mountain (center) to the Great Range

After a few pictures, we headed over towards Porter. Most of the hikers on Cascade, like we did in 2009, skipped the 0.7-mile side trip, but we still passed about 6 pairs of hikers going back and forth. We stopped at a lookout on the way and enjoyed a short-lived breeze; like the day before, it was hot and there was no wind to help. The trail to Porter was a bit wet and muddy.

We made good time back to the junction with Cascade and headed down. Here we would pass the throngs that I expected earlier. There were all kinds, from clearly capable hikers to families to obvious tourists. We felt particularly sorry for the crew who had brand new sneakers and were starting out just before the thunderstorms arrived.

For us, we beat even my low estimate of 4 hours by 15 minutes, and we headed straight down to the ADK Cafe for lunch. (Disappointingly, they didn’t have any pulled pork.) It was again marvelous to see how great Kayla & Kathy were, and indeed how far I have come too.

Pictures below by me, Kathy, and Kayla.