White Mountains, NH

A Garden on Top of the World

Photos of the Presidential Range like this one by John Compton enticed us to plan our trip.

Photos of the Presidential Range like this one by John Compton enticed us to plan our trip.

One day, about fifteen years ago when we turned sixty, a friend and I decided to hike the Crawford Path, part of the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

You may think this topic an unlikely entry in a blog about gardens and gardening, and  I suppose it is. Except that within those rugged hills we quite literally stumbled into a garden.

A stunning montage of spring blooms by 1happyhiker

A stunning montage of spring blooms by 1happyhiker

It took fifteen years and a chance exhumation of  long-forgotten jottings in a notebook for me to recall our delight in our discoveries.

I would like to share the memory of that hike with you now by inviting you to browse through this six-part series.

It was a memorable hike for us. Though much of the trail was shrouded in fog, we met so many fine people and made so many discoveries along the way that we fell in love with the mountains and the plants there.

Even in fog the mountains were spectacular

Even in fog the mountains were spectacular

Once we were in the clouds we took few pictures, and some of these, I suspect, were lost. Back then none of the pictures were digital, so we’ve scanned the transparencies and prints we had.

We’ve also borrowed pictures from other blogs and web sites, wonderful pictures taken much more recently—many on clear days when you could see forever. For these, and for the beautiful photos of plants in bloom, we thank the photographers and hope we have given appropriate credit to them.

Our destination one day. Photo taken by Taylor Lorenz on a clear day

Our destination one day. Photo taken by Taylor Lorenz on a clear day

In The Garden I relate our discovery of an Alpine Garden and what I later learned about its plants. The other entries present a singular introduction to hiking in the White Mountains and tell a tale of  that may be even more engaging than visiting an ancient garden.

The twists and turns of that hike many years ago were as surprising to us as was our all-too-brief encounter with the Garden on Top of the World.

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