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Allen 8-29-19

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  • Allen 8-29-19

    I realized several years ago that I was only about three dozen peaks short of a second round of the NE111 (actually 115). So I started revisiting the ones Iíd only been to once. This year I did nine more in the White Mts, and just now Allen & Couchie, leaving me three in ME (the Crockers & Readington), the two in the Catskills, and North Twin in the Whites.

    On the 29th I hiked to Allen. The maze of turns and roads was as complex as ever, but the foot tread is so much heavier than it was in í93 that it was easy to follow without much thought. I was interested to see part of the old floating bridge over Lake Jimmy still sitting along the shore. The new suspension bridge over the Opalescent is very nice. It was a beautiful day, cool & crisp with almost no biting insects; it got cloudier in the afternoon. Masses of White Wood Aster, Goldenrods, and in places (esp. the slide) Closed Gentians.

    The slide starts with a couple of pretty cascades, but also becomes steep & messy right away. It had rained the day before so everything was wet & muddy. I was watching for the notorious red slime, which I never remembered from the first time. I did see red on the rocks, but canít say it was any more slippery than the rest. Lots of the rock was slick. Iíd worn my Five Ten approach shoes, so maybe their adhesiveness helped. The other pleasant surprise was ending up on a summit ledge with a great view of the high peaks, from the Dixes over on the right all the way to Skylight & Gray. I was always puzzled when people talked about views, because in 1996 I poked around the summit but didnít see anything more than limited views through trees. Either I didnít look hard enough, or the current ledge with views has opened up more since then.

    It took me 11 hours, 20 minutes, including 35 minutes for lunch on the summit and a couple of other short breaks. I try to avoid longer stops unless itís a super long & strenuous hike, otherwise I lose my second wind & momentum. Looking at birds, flowers, or taking photos adds some rest too. I canít compare my time with the earlier visit, since that time I camped at the site up towards Hanging Spear Falls.