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, many years ago a friend and I decided to hike the Crawford Path when we turned sixty. It’s 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 a couple decades 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 and the people.

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 first day. Photo taken by Taylor Lorenz on a clear day

For plant lovers, in The Alpine Garden I talk about the relic plants of glacial ages and their special adaptations for surviving the rigors of their remote outposts in these granite outcrops.

In the other entries I relate the rollicking  adventures of a couple of grandmas hiking in the White Mountains for their first (and last) time.

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

Beginnings        Rock Piles        The Alpine Garden  

The Plan        The Way Back          Endings

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