Frankie first climbed Bald Mountain back in 2014, when he was three. It was his first fire tower hike, and the first mountain he climbed all the way both up and down on his own power. When he decided he wanted to complete the Fulton Chain Trifecta, I made sure he understood we'd have to climb Bald Mountain again. The rules are pretty unequivocal: You can complete the challenge in one day or take up to a year to reach all three summits. This didn't bother him at all. I honestly don't think he remembers the specifics of his first hike there too well, but knowing he completed it when he was three made him confident that he could handle it with ease now. And rightly so.
Today we hiked Rocky Mountain first, then drove to the Bald Mountain trailhead. The time stamp of Frankie at the trailhead is 12:10 pm. We were up on the summit within 45 minutes. No speed record to be sure, but we were considerably faster than last time, even with it being the second mountain of the day. Like Rocky, Bald is easy: about 1.8 miles roundtrip, with about 500 feet of elevation gain. It also has a heavily trafficked trail, a large rocky summit, and beautiful views. Plus it has a fire tower!
Frankie loves fire towers. He likes the views, he likes the maps, he likes talking to other hikers. I think he could happily stay up in a fire tower all day. Convincing him to come back down is always a challenge. We spent quite a bit of time up there awkwardly shuffling around so other hikers could enjoy the views, too. Then we climbed down and went out on the ridge past the tower, to snack there and enjoy the views with the tower in the foreground. Gorgeous!
These hikes are popular for good a reason.
|bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)|
|starflower (Lysimachia borealis)|