Friday, February 24, 2012

Monument Mountain - Part 3

I was hiking up Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, Massachusetts with my four youngest dogs. We'd passed our first scenic overlook but a simple glance in either direction made it clear to me that there was more beauty to come:

I passed a bit of an overlook off to the left and snapped a photo, but I could tell that the real payoff was ahead and to the right:

Like up there, perhaps?:

I had already decided that I wanted to see both Devil's Pulpit and Squaw Peak. Devil's Pulpit, however, was a short spur off the Squaw Peak trail, so that's where I headed:

The spur trail to Devil's Pulpit was steep but someone had thoughtfully placed large rocks into a staircase of sorts. The dogs were still on their leashes at this point. The drop-offs were steep and sudden, and my dogs were full of play and oblivious to any danger. The first rock on this ascent was so big and steep that I had to haul Seamus up by pulling on his leash:

And there it was, Devil's Pulpit. That's the free-standing pinnacle of rock in the valley below. I'll bet you never thought that Massachusetts had such extraordinary natural beauty, did you?:

I could see the valley below off through some pine limbs:

I don't know the identity of this hardy little fern but it was ubiquitous, growing bravely out of many rock crevices:

I descended the Devil's Pulpit spur trail and began making my way toward Squaw Peak (where legend has it a squaw threw herself to her death). The dogs were still on their leashes which was awkward, but I didn't want any dogs falling off of cliffs. We all stopped for a photo of the Great Barrington high school in the valley below. You can see its orange track behind the school:

And a lake or river off in another direction. There was a mountain with ski slopes toward the east, but the sun prevented me from getting any usable photos:

I saw a young couple atop Squaw Peak and headed that way. There was much ice on the trail and it was treacherous, so I moved slowly and cautiously, trying to keep all four dogs with me on their leashes:

And the views were magnificent. But I'll post more tomorrow:

2 comments:

  1. Wow what a lovely view! I like hiking in the winter, the view is always much better. :)

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    1. Yes, the air usually seems clearer in the winter and one can see for very long distances. The catch is finding an opportunity to hike when there isn't too much ice and snow on the trails.

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