|Heading up Bare Mountain|
|Art display on top of Bare Mountain|
An artwork display at the top of Bare Mountain was most unexpected. The sign below it said it was from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. "The Carle is pleased to present Brown Bear Everywhere. This outdoor exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of Eric Carle's first picture book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? written by Bill Martin Jr. This reproduction from the story is one of 14 images sited at public locations around Amhearst through October 10."
|Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?|
|View from Bare Mountain|
|Radio (?) Tower on Bare Mountain|
|I hope it's not me.|
Section 7 is considered to be one of the most difficult parts of the M-M Trail, with lots of steep ups and downs, so I gave myself plenty of time and brought too much water. According to the NET website, there is 2633 feet uphill and 2311 feet downhill for the section, although I already completed the part between the river and the Summit House. It's not so much the total elevation changes as the steep, hazardous footing, that makes this section a challenge.
It looked to me like most of the steep inclines were really just caused by poor trail design rather than any constraint in the topography. Trails should avoid going straight down a steep slope unless there is no other option, and in this case it looked like there was plenty of opportunity to have the trail angle down the side of the hill, benched in.
|Why does the trail go straight up the hill?|
|This was the only set of stairs|
|From Mt Hitchcock looking towards Mt Holyoke|
The occasional runner isn't a problem. This was a steady stream. They ran alone, in pairs, or in groups, decked in spandex and often sporting headphones. They focused on their feet, not looking at the woods or the overlooks. Some didn't run, but traveled light in their exercise-wear, carrying nothing except a water bottle and power walking as fast as possible. It was clear they did this often and were just getting it over with so they could move on to the next thing on their to-do list for the day. I did run across a few people actually hiking the trail, and they were also very disappointed with the swarm of fitness buffs. This is not a place for a relaxing nature hike, at least not on a Saturday.
|View from the Seven Sisters|
|Approaching Mt. Holyoke from the last of the Seven Sisters.|
Mt Tom is in the background.
|The trail crosses the park road to the Summitt House at the bottom of Taylor's Notch.|
|The Summit House picnic area|
|The plane crash memorial|
|Back to the Summit House|
|Inside the Summit House|
|"The owls. Are not. What they appear." - a line from Twin Peaks.|
|Holyoke Range diorama|