Blooming Alpine: Goose Eye Mountain, ME (3,870') - June 2007

I had seen many pictures on www.mountwashington.org of blooming alpine flowers. I decided that Karen and I needed to pay Mr. Kevin Hardwick a visit and go for a hike up something with a decent bit of alpine. Two springs ago Kevin had tried to hike Goose Eye Mountain (in ME) by himself. He encountered a number of sketchy stream crossings, one of which was impassible. He vowed to return one day to finish the hike. We figured this was a good chance to do that. I also decided that I needed to get my fancy camera out and take some pictures. I wanted some good alpine flower pictures for my computer desktop. Thanks to Brad Blake, who saw my pictures posted here and identified many of the alpine flowers that I photographed. Thanks Brad!!

The hike followed a brook for the first few miles. There were tons of waterfalls and pools.

A small waterfall.

Kevin poses by a pool at the bottom of a series of waterfalls.

The trail eventually left the brook and went up a cirque. The steep-sided cirque had numerous rock slides.

Here we are on one such rock slide. We almost lost the trail here.

At low elevations everything was blooming, even the Balsam Fir! (Thanks to Brad for the ID)

I liked the little green ends!

These ferns had just started to sprout too! Mt Greylock is covered with these kind of ferns.

I liked these stairs. They make me feel like I was in the Ewok Village.

This was our first real view. Time to play with my zoom! Small Mountain...

Big mountain. What fun! Kevin told me that this is Sunday River White Cap.

While the photo doesn't show it, there is a significant drop off the left side of this log.

I take time to pose.

Tree line is near. Shortly after this we merged with the Appalachian Trail and headed for the summit.

The Appalachain Trail has nice ladders on the way to the summit. They were pretty useful.

We reach the ridge and the views were fantastic! That's Old Spec to the left and Baldpate just left of center.

A similar view of Old Spec (Middle in the distance) and Baldpate (far distance right of photo).

Now that we were above tree line. It was time for me to keep my eyes open for alpine flowers. They are easy to miss because they are usually really small. These ones were really tiny...about half the size of a penny.

More alpine flowers. This is the Bog Laurel (Thanks to Brad for emailing me many flower ID's!).

More ladders on the AT. This section of the trail was kind of spooky. It was like a spooky Ewok Village.

Karen enjoys the green views.

More flowers! This one is called a Labrador Tea flower (Thanks to Brad!).

From the east summit, this was the view towards the NE. Old Spec is in the distance with Baldpate behind it to the right.

The view to the SW, towards the Presidentials in NH. Mt. Washington is the high point on the horizon near the middle of the photo.

This is the west summit (foreground on the right) is the high point on Goose Eye. It was our next destination.

Continue to Part II to see more great views and alpine flora!

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